A Minnesota man who allegedly fatally shot his wife over a decade ago is under arrest and charged with second-degree murder, authorities said.
On May 19 just after 5 a.m., a SWAT team served an arrest warrant on Nicholas James Firkus, 38, at his Mounds View home and took him into custody, according to St. Paul police.
On April 25, 2010, Heidi Marie Firkus, then 25, was fatally shot in the back in the kitchen of the home she shared with the suspect, and her death was ruled a homicide.
Nicholas Firkus claimed to investigators he heard a noise at around 6:30 that morning, woke up his wife, grabbed his double-barreled shotgun and she followed him downstairs to check out the situation, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reported.
Prosecutors claimed Firkus gave varying accounts about what happened next, according to television station KARE. First, he allegedly said an intruder grabbed the gun and shot his wife. He then claimed the gun fired while he struggled with the intruder, prosecutors said. He also alleged he was struck in the leg when the gun went off a second time.
Prosecutors noted forensic investigators never recovered foreign DNA on the firearm, discovered no evidence of a struggle in the home and couldn’t match the angle of the bullet fired into the victim with the scenario the suspect presented to police.
Detectives also learned the pair may have been in debt and about to lose their home.
“They have found no evidence that Heidi was in any way aware of the dire financial straits the couple was in, or the pending eviction/foreclosure scheduled for the following day,” a criminal complaint reads, according to the Star Tribune. “The house was fully furnished and nothing was packed.”
After Firkus’ arrest in the 11-year-old case, the victim’s family released a statement thanking authorities for their perseverance. “We are hopeful that these charges will finally bring out the truth and result in justice for Heidi,” they said. “Even though we know we can't have her back, we believe Heidi would want us to have the truth.”
Firkus was booked into the Ramsey County Jail and faces up to a 40-year sentence if convicted of murder.