About this Event
6701 Hoover Road, Indianapolis, IN 46260
This Traveling Oral Argument will not be webcast live because it will not take place in the Court of Appeals Courtroom. Video of the event will become available within about one week after the hearing. See Oral Arguments Online for video.
Heidi Littlefield (Defendant) and Fran Kelley (Victim) are the biological parents of B.K., born in early 2019. The relationship between Defendant and Victim soured after B.K.’s birth. Defendant did not want Victim to have a relationship with B.K.; nor did she want her adult children to communicate with Victim.
In March 2020, Victim filed a petition to establish custody, parenting time, and child support. At some point, Defendant approached one of her adult daughters, Logan, about obtaining fentanyl to poison Victim. If they were successful in killing Victim, Defendant promised to give Logan some of the life insurance proceeds that B.K. would receive.
Logan assisted Defendant in purchasing fentanyl, and in October 2020, Defendant brought Victim soup that she and Logan had laced with fentanyl. Although Victim consumed the soup and became ill, he did not die. Later that same month, Defendant spoke with Walker—Logan’s boyfriend—about hiring a hitman to kill Victim. Walker acknowledged that he “knew someone,” and Defendant gave Logan $2500. Logan and Walker, however, spent the money on hotels and drugs.
On January 14, 2021, Logan and Defendant purchased more fentanyl. That same day, Logan entered Victim’s residence and concealed the fentanyl in Victim’s refrigerated oatmeal. The next day, Victim texted Defendant and asked whether she had put something in his oatmeal because it tasted “funny” and he was “light-headed.” Logan and Defendant went to Victim’s house and saw him gasping for air. Defendant grabbed Victim’s necktie, tied it around his neck, and lifted him “up, probably two to three feet” with it. Victim’s head dropped to the floor each time. After they left the residence, Defendant tossed the necktie in a restaurant trash can.
On January 18, Victim’s former girlfriend went to Victim’s residence and found Victim lying on a couch, deceased. When emergency personnel arrived, they determined that Victim was nonviable due to “prolonged signs of death,” including lividity and rigor mortis. There was bruising around Victim’s eye and head as a result of blunt force trauma. The cause of death was ruled “asphyxia due to strangulation/neck compression” with “acute fentanyl intoxication” as a contributing cause.
Defendant was charged with murder, Level 1 felony conspiracy to commit murder (agreement with Logan), and Level 2 felony conspiracy to commit murder (agreement with Walker). Following a jury trial, Defendant was found guilty as charged and sentenced to an aggregate term of 115 years of incarceration.
On appeal, Defendant argues that (1) the evidence was insufficient to support the murder conviction; (2) she was punished twice—in violation of double jeopardy principles—for the single act of conspiring with Logan to kill Victim; and (3) the sentence was inappropriate when considering the nature of the offenses and her character.
The scheduled panelists are Chief Judge Altice, Judge Robb, and Judge Kenworthy.