Fort Worth

Jailed boyfriend of Fort Worth businesswoman denies confessing to her slaying

From jail Joshua Henry talks about his arrest in the murder of Nicole Blahitka

He was arrested in the murder of the owner of a well-known Fort Worth business.
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He was arrested in the murder of the owner of a well-known Fort Worth business.

The boyfriend of a Fort Worth businesswoman faces a murder charge in her death after her body was found at her home in an affluent Fort Worth neighborhood last week, police said Tuesday.

Joshua K. Henry, 29, was arrested Monday after he admitted to his involvement in the death of Nicole “Nikki” Blahitka, 49, the owner of Lon Smith Roofing, said Sgt. Marc Povero, a police spokesman.

Blahitka suffered apparent head trauma, and police were treating the case as domestic violence, Povero said. Police did not provide further details Tuesday, and Henry’s arrest warrant affidavit was not yet available.

In a jailhouse interview Tuesday, Henry said he told detectives that he was with her Thursday — the day before she was found dead — and denied having confessed to killing her.

He said police told him he was the last person at Blahitka’s home before her 12-year-old son found her dead in her bedroom at about 2:30 p.m. Friday.

On Thursday, Henry said, Blahitka picked him up from his home in Benbrook and they went to Cabela’s in far north Fort Worth. The couple later went to dinner together before returning to Blahitka’s home in the 3600 block of Middlewood Drive.

While at the house, Henry said, he and Blahitka got into a “disagreement,” so he went home.

“It was nothing, really,” Henry said Tuesday from the Mansfield Jail. “I left. End of story.”

The next day, Henry said, he awoke to a friend knocking on his door. The friend — who also knew Blahitka, Henry said — told Henry something had happened to her.

“I started crying,” he said. “It was very devastating.”

Blahitka was the owner of Fort Worth-based Lon Smith Roofing, which her father founded in 1974.

“She was a great owner and manager at our company; but she was an even better person,” company President David Cox said in a statement Tuesday.

‘Off and on’ relationship

Povero confirmed that Blahitka and Henry had been dating.

“We’re considering it a case of domestic violence,” Povero said. “[Henry] is the only suspect, but obviously our homicide detectives will look at every angle.”

Henry said he and Blahitka had an “off and on” relationship since her and her husband’s divorce, which was finalized in April, according to Tarrant County court records.

Blahitka and her ex-husband had two children together — the 12-year-old son, and a 17-year-old daughter, the court records say.

Henry first met Blahitka several years ago. He said he had done carpentry work on her home, which is in the Riverhills addition of the Edwards Ranch development and is valued at more than $1.4 million, according to the Tarrant Appraisal District.

Over the years, Henry said, he and Blahitka became “really good friends.”

Henry said his arrest in her death is “wrong.”

“I don’t belong in here,” he said, sitting behind glass at the jail Tuesday evening.

Povero said Henry’s interview with police Monday was the second time he had talked with detectives.

After he confessed to killing Blahitka, Povero said, Henry was taken back to a residence in Grand Prairie and placed under surveillance until an arrest warrant was signed. Police arrested him without incident a few hours later and booked him into jail with bail set at $250,000.

Henry said he was in the process of moving and had been living in both Benbrook and Grand Prairie.

Court records say Henry was arrested and accused of possessing marijuana on Nov. 2, 2010. The charge was lowered to possession of drug paraphernalia. He was sentenced to deferred adjudication and successfully completed his probation, according to the records.

Henry was arrested on Aug. 13, 2014, and charged with assault with bodily injury and unlawful restraint, but in court the charges were reduced to disorderly conduct, according to Tarrant County court records. He got deferred adjudication and successfully completed his probation, and doesn’t have a conviction on his record for those offenses.

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