Fort Worth woman killed in her home
The boyfriend of slain Fort Worth businesswoman Nicole “Nikki” Blahitka told detectives he shot her twice during an argument in her bedroom last week, according to an arrest warrant affidavit released Wednesday.
Joshua Henry, 29, was arrested Monday in the death of Blahitka, 49, whose body was found Friday at her home in the 3600 block of Middlewood Drive, an affluent area in southwest Fort Worth. Police said Tuesday that Henry confessed to killing Blahitka, the owner of Lon Smith Roofing.
In a jailhouse interview later Tuesday, Henry denied making a confession but said he had told police that he was with Blahitka on Thursday night and that the couple had a “disagreement,” after which he walked home.
According to the arrest warrant affidavit, he told homicide detectives in a voluntary interview Monday that he shot Blahitka.
“During the course of the interview he began to cry and confessed to shooting Nicole during an argument,” the affidavit says.
Blahitka, Henry told police, had retrieved a .40-caliber gun during the argument. Henry said he then “removed the firearm from Nicole and shot her twice,” the affidavit says.
“He described shooting her first in the shoulder then shooting her in the head as she stood near her bed,” the affidavit says.
After the shooting, Henry told police, he walked home.
Henry told detectives he got rid of his clothes in the woods and threw the gun into a river. He also told police he threw his two cellphones into a pond near Blahitka’s home.
Blahitka’s 12-year-old son, believing she was asleep, found her dead in her bedroom Friday afternoon.
The affidavit says Blahitka “was indeed shot twice, once in the left shoulder and once in the head.”
Police found a .40-caliber casing, the affidavit says.
Blahitka, whose father founded Fort Worth-based Lon Smith Roofing in 1974, had two children with her ex-husband. The couple divorced in April. Her home on Middlewood Drive, in the Riverhills addition of Edwards Ranch, is valued at more than $1.4 million, according to the Tarrant Appraisal District.
Blahitka’s ex-husband told police that she was having an affair with Henry and that it had led to the divorce, the affidavit says. He described her relationship with Henry as “volatile.”
Police confirmed that Blahitka and Henry had been dating. Henry told the Star-Telegram on Tuesday that they had an “off and on” relationship since she and her ex-husband’s divorce was finalized in April.
Henry on camera
The affidavit, written by Detective E.C. Pate, says Henry was shown on surveillance footage taken at Blahitka’s home about 10 p.m. Thursday. About 10:50 p.m., the security cameras and “partial electricity” at the home were disabled, Pate wrote.
About 20 minutes later, the affidavit says, the “rear mudroom door” of the home was opened and closed, according to a home security system log.
There was no further activity at the home until 10:46 a.m. the next day, when the housekeeper arrived.
Pate “concluded from this information that whoever killed [Blahitka], left through the mudroom door at 11:09 p.m.” on Thursday, the affidavit says.
In an initial interview with police, Henry admitted to being with Blahitka on Thursday and said he left her home between 10:30 p.m. and midnight.
Henry told police he left through the rear mudroom door after an argument, jumped the back fence and walked home, the affidavit says.
Henry also said he changed clothes at Blahitka’s home before leaving “but lost the clothes during his walk home.” He admitted to having a gun when he left the home but said it was a .45-caliber Glock, not a .40-caliber, the affidavit says.
Arrest after second interview
Detectives interviewed Henry a second time on Monday.
Again, he denied any involvement in Blahitka’s death, the affidavit says, but then he confessed, detailing how he shot her during the argument.
The affidavit does not include details about the argument or how it started.
On Monday, after police say he confessed, 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.
Henry remained in the Mansfield Jail on Wednesday. It was unknown whether he had hired an attorney. Authorities said he faces a murder charge.
Fort Worth Fire Department dive crews searched the Trinity River and other bodies of water near Blahitka’s home Tuesday and Wednesday, trying to find the gun and cellphones, said Sgt. Marc Povero, a police spokesman. Nothing had been found by Wednesday afternoon.