Insanity defence failed Chase Nicholson as he was sent away for life the lives of his three relatives whom he killed last year
A central Iowa man has been given three life sentences after admitting in court that he fatally shot his parents and sister.
Twenty-two-year-old Chase Nicholson pleaded guilty Monday in Polk County District Court in Des Moines to killing 58-year-old Mark Nicholson 56-year-old Charla Nicholson and 24-year-old Tawni Nicholson.
Their bodies and the shotgun used to kill them were found in the family home in Bondurant on April 6 last year. Nicholson surrendered the next day in Neosho, Missouri.
Nicholson was taken into custody in Missouri and court documents show he admitted to using a shotgun in the killings. A search warrant in the case revealed one of th victims was also found with a knife protruding from an eye.
Chase Nicholson initially pleaded not guilty. His attorneys were planning to use an insanity defence.
Recounting leading events Nicholson testified as to how, and why, he acquired the gun used in the murders of his parents and sister. The the gun which he bought from an online forum because he wanted to kill himself, he said
“I went online and there was a private dealership and there was a guy with a shot gun on there and I contacted him, I met him and bought it,” Nicholson said.
On April 6, 2017, the day of the murders, he heard voices in his head telling him to kill himself , before the voices told him to kill his family.
Chase, who has a long history of schizophrenia, blames the voices for the crime he committed. He also said he had ill-will in his heart and blamed his family for his mental illness.
During the hearing, the killer’s aunt gave a victim impact statement seeking three consecutive life terms as punishment. Several people in the courtroom, including Chase Nicholson, were sobbing during the statement.
The judge also sentenced Nicholson to three life sentences, to be served consecutively. He must also pay restitution of $150,000 for each victim.