GALVESTON, Texas (TCD) — A judge sentenced a man to 55 years behind bars for killing his roommate and romantic partner, then fleeing the state.
Galveston County court records show Christian Hickman-Staudt, 26, was handed the sentence Oct. 5 after a jury convicted him of first-degree murder for the death of 55-year-old Donald Eugene Heard. His attorneys have already filed an appeal.
According to League City Police, on July 30, 2020, officers responded to the 100 block of Briarwood Court after a woman called 911 to report she discovered her son dead in the residence. Police went inside and determined the victim “had been deceased for several days.”
Heard sustained a fatal knife wound to his neck.
During their investigation, detectives learned Heard and Hickman-Staudt were in a relationship and Hickman-Staudt was at the home a few days before Heard’s mother found him dead. Three days after the discovery, Hickman-Staudt contacted his mother, Frances Hickman, and asked her pick him up because he and Heard had gotten into a fight.
League City Police said Hickman-Staudt fled to Minnesota following the killing, which led to police issuing a warrant for his arrest. Hickman-Staudt’s mother was arrested in October 2020 for tampering with evidence because she allegedly “destroyed evidence related to the crime.”
Court documents show Hickman concealed a backpack with evidence inside.
Hickman-Staudt was eventually apprehended Oct. 27, 2021, in Hennepin County, Minnesota, and extradited back to Texas.
KRIV-TV reports Hickman-Staudt told investigators he didn’t kill Heard. Rather, he claimed some people broke in and committed the crime. Police, however, discovered Hickman-Staudt’s DNA on a knife inside.
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