Jurors convicted an Indiana woman Tuesday as the mastermind and killer in a poisoning and strangulation plot.
Heidi Marie Littlefield, 42, recruited her older daughter Logan Marie Runyon and Runyon’s boyfriend Robert Walker in planning to kill Francis Kelley, 46, authorities said, according to local reports in the Indianapolis area.
Finally, after she and her daughter poisoned the victim’s food on three instances, Littlefield attacked him at his home in mid-January 2021 and strangled him to death with his favorite tie, authorities said in an Indy Star report.
Runyon, who pleaded guilty to a charge of conspiracy to commit murder and was sentenced to 26 years in prison, testified against her mother as part of a plea deal. A prosecutor asked her why she participated in the murder plot.
“Because I love her, and because we never really had a good relationship,” she reportedly said.
It was all about family. The murder stemmed from a custody dispute. Kelley was the father of Littlefield’s younger, then-2-year-old daughter. There was a hearing scheduled for Jan. 27, 2021 because Kelley claimed Littlefield was “violating the parenting time order,” according to cops in Carmel, Indiana, according to People. He claimed she was not letting him pick up their daughter, and Littlefield “would stay in his house during his parenting time.”
After the murder, a relative stepped forward, telling investigators that Littlefield made certain incriminating statements.
“‘He’s better off dead,’ ‘I didn’t mean to kill him last time,’ and ‘I might as well say I did it and just say I’m crazy and pregnant,” the relative said, quoting Littlefield, cops said in the People report.
She reportedly said Kelley was abusive and “she would be failing her daughter if the dude didn’t end up dead,” according to cops in a Star report.
As part of the plot, Littlefield gave Walker $2,500 to hire a hitman. Runyon testified, however, that Walker and she used that money for drugs, clothes, and hotels, according to the Star. Walker pleaded guilty in May to conspiracy to commit murder and was sentenced to 10 years in prison.
Ultimately, the actual murder originated from a series of poisoning attempts. Littlefield plotted with Runyon to buy fentanyl from Ohio drug dealers.
They poisoned his food three times, Runyon testified. This included poisoning his takeout miso soup, and Little asking Runyon to sneak into Kelley’s home to lace his oatmeal with the drug.
Kelley suspected Littlefield was up to something.
“Did you do something to the oatmeal that was in my fridge?” he texted her on Jan. 14, 2021, shortly before she strangled him with his tie and smashed his head to the floor, according to The Star.
“What the actual [censored] are you talking about????” Littlefield wrote.
“You were in my fridge last night and it tasted funny after a couple bites and now I am light headed,” Kelley wrote.
Littlefield disparaged his claims.
“Who tf puts oatmeal in a fridge?” she wrote, police said in the People report. “I don’t know anything you do or want to! Your life and the stuff you say/do is beyond me.”
Sentencing is set for October.
[Mugshot via Hamilton County Jail]
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