A MAN pled not guilty in connection to the death of his roommate, stealing the victim’s car and cutting off his thumb to gain access to his cellphone.
Sean Higgins, 25, was arrested on April 14 after authorities said he admitted to killing Easton Ho, also 25, and dumping his body beyond state lines, according to court records.
Ho’s body was found in Greenville Creek in Randolph County, Indiana on April 15, said investigators.
Higgins told police that he had dumped the body in the area, said Troy Police Chief Shaw McKinney.
He has been charged with aggravated murder, abuse of a corpse, tampering with evidence, grand theft of a motor vehicle and receiving stolen property.
Higgins pled not guilty by reason of insanity, according to records from the Miami County Municipal Court in Ohio. A mental evaluation has been ordered.
According to investigators, Higgins had cut off Ho’s thumb and kept it to access his cell phone. The phone was eventually recovered in a field in Troy.
“It was brutal,” said McKinney.
Police arrived at the apartment around 8:30am on April 14 after Ho’s girlfriend said she had received suspicious text messages.
Ho’s girlfriend said she was worried for his safety as he had high-functioning autism and possible PTSD from past child abuse, read an incident report.
She told police that she received a message from Ho at 2:45am that read, “When you see this, I already left…An old enemy found me, and I had to kill him…You will not see me,”
The girlfriend received another text at 3:15am from Ho’s phone reading, “I told Sean, He left his car in the driveway.”
She went to the apartment and checked the garage, finding a strong smell of bleach and three empty bleach containers in the recycling bin.
“My boyfriend, he sent some texts, and he’s missing now,” she said to dispatchers in a 911 call.
Ho had failed to show up for work in Miamisburg on April 14, according to his girlfriend.
“The very concerning part is he left his glasses here and he cannot see at all without them,” she said in the call.
Higgins was also accused of stealing Ho’s Ford Flex, which was found on April 14, in the parking lot of a shopping area. The license plates were removed and the vehicle was covered in blood, according to court records.
Ho’s girlfriend and Higgins were interviewed by detectives. Higgins would admit to killing Ho during his interview.
His bond was set at $1,515,000. It is too early to tell if the death penalty will be considered in this case, said McKinney.
Higgins is scheduled to appear in court for a hearing regarding the mental evaluation on May 3.
He is currently being held in the Miami County Jail.
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