DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) — The Troy man who pleaded guilty to murdering his roommate in April will spend the rest of his life in prison without parole.
26-year-old Sean Higgins of Troy is charged with:
- 1 Count of Aggravated Murder
- 2 Counts of Gross Abuse of a Corpse
- 3/4 Count Tampering with Evidence
- 5 Count – Grant Theft of a Motor Vehicle
- 6 Count – Receiving Stolen Property
The charges are all related to the incident of his roommate, 25-year-old Easton Ho‘s, murder.
Higgins entered a guilty plea in October following two competency hearings. He appeared in court on Monday, Dec. 5 for a sentencing hearing where Judge Stacy M. Wall of the Miami County Common Pleas Court heard additional testimony and evidence, according to WDTN story archives.
Miami County Prosecuting Attorney Anthony Kendell called Troy police officers and the Miami County Deputy Coroner and presented evidence.
“I have been a part of many trials, including murder trials, and with that experience you get a feel for things. We are in the presence of pure evil,” said Kendell.
Kendell showed photographs of blood splatter in the garage of the apartment Ho and Higgins shared. Captain Jeff Kunkleman said the garage also had “an almost overwhelming smell of bleach. Additional photographs depicted Higgins with a backpack on.
Kunkleman discussed the interview with Higgins which led to the discovery of Ho’s body in a stream in Randolph County, Indiana. In the portion of the interview Kendell played for the court, Higgins tells the officer the backpack was one he found and contained a hammer, screwdriver, knife, keys, credit cards belonging to Ho as well as Ho’s amputated thumb.
Kunkleman said that Higgins told him of the incident, saying he hit Ho on the head with a hammer in their living room and then used a mattress to take his body to the car.
Ho apparently awoke during that time which resulted in a struggle with Higgins stabbing Ho. Miami Valley Today reported that Higgins told Kunkleman he then used a car to back over him.
Using Ho’s thumb to gain access to his phone, Higgins sent messages to Ho’s family, girlfriend and to himself, reported Kunkleman.
Other officers discussed Higgins’ internet searches from the day prior to the incident and over the past year. Kendell suggested the searches show premeditation as they included topics such as bodies floating, how hard the human skull is, what creatures rend flesh from bone and others.
Miami Valley Today reported that Miami County Deputy Coroner Sean Kwiatkowski discussed the extent of Ho’s injuries. Kwiatkowski said that Ho sustained a total of 60 wounds including six to the neck, 10 to the chest and 15 to the back.
The victim’s mother, two sisters and girlfriend also provided statements. According to Miami Valley Today, they each spoke of their grief and asked Judge Wall to give Higgins life without parole.