Heidi Marie Littlefield, 41, her daughter, Logan Marie Runyon, 22, and Runyon’s boyfriend, Robert James Walker, 29, were charged Thursday in connection to the murder of 46-year-old Francis Kelley. Kelley was found dead on his couch more than two months ago.
According to reports:
Prosecutors say the January killing of a man in his home in Carmel was the end result of a murder-for-hire plot in which a Sheridan woman enlisted her daughter and daughter’s boyfriend to kill the father of one of her children.
Heidi Marie Littlefield, 41, her daughter, Logan Marie Runyon, 22, and Runyon’s boyfriend, Robert James Walker, 29, were charged Thursday in connection to the killing— more than two months after police found 46-year-old Francis Kelley dead on his couch in the 14000 block of Howe Drive Jan. 18.
Littlefield and Runyon face murder and conspiracy to commit murder charges, and Walker was charged with two counts of conspiracy to commit murder.
Court records say Littlefield had long planned the slaying.
Kelley’s body was discovered in his home after another ex-girlfriend told police she had not heard from him; he was supposed to pick up their 9-year-old daughter for his birthday Jan. 17.
Investigators noted bruising around Kelley’s eye, elbows, knees and hand when they found him but said “those observations did not indicate obvious signs of foul play,” according to a probable cause affidavit. A bag of cocaine was found under the couch.
An autopsy later revealed the man had been strangled to death. Kelley had also sustained blunt-force trauma to his head, records show, and a toxicology report indicated fentanyl was found in his system. His death was ruled a homicide.
Phone records indicate that Littlefield was in Kelley’s apartment the day before he stopped communicating with anyone on Jan. 15.
In a text message exchange, the pair discuss their child’s custody — they had a court hearing set for Jan. 27 — before Kelley changes the subject at 1:36 p.m.:
“Did you do something to the oatmeal that was in my fridge?,” he writes.
“What the actual (expletive) are you talking about????” Littlefield responds.
“You were in my fridge last night and it tasted funny after a couple bites and now I am light headed,” Kelley says.
Littlefield’s subsequent messages were left unread by Kelley, according to the affidavit, and he sent his last email from his work computer at 1:56 p.m. — something his employer told police was “highly unusual,” since he usually worked until 5 p.m.
Littlefield was identified as a suspect in the case after the woman’s relatives told investigators she had made “past statements saying she wanted (Kelley) dead,” court records show.
Kelley was abusive, Littlefield reportedly said, and “she would be failing her daughter if the dude didn’t end up dead.”
“He’s better off dead,” one relative reported Littlefield as saying after Kelley’s body was discovered. “I didn’t mean to kill him last time. I might as well say I did it and just say I’m crazy and pregnant.”
Video recordings of conversations between Littlefield and an ex-boyfriend capture the woman talking about “planning to plant drugs on Fran and how she wants Fran dead,” police say.
And another Littlefield relative told investigators the woman had given Walker, her daughter’s boyfriend, approximately $2,500 to kill Kelley in October 2020.
Walker, who was arrested Tuesday in Ohio, told detectives Littlefield “paid him $2,500 to hire someone to kill Fran,” adding that he “took the money but spent it on drugs and had no intention of doing what Heidi asked.”
He told investigators this was the “third attempt by Heidi to kill Fran” and said Littlefield in October had snuck into Kelley’s house with their daughter and put fentanyl in the man’s miso soup.
Runyon stayed in the car during that attempt, Walker said, and Littlefield had later returned to the group’s hotel and stated: “It’s done.”
When asked about Kelley’s January death, Walker told investigators Runyon said she and her mother snuck into Kelley’s house after he had eaten the fentanyl-laced oatmeal to finish the killing.
“Walker advised Heidi tried to get Logan to ‘snap his neck,’ but Logan couldn’t do it, so Heidi then tied ‘his favorite’ tie around his neck and began smashing his head into the ground,” the affidavit says.
The court records indicate Littlefield and Runyon had a troubled relationship, and Littlefield planned to have her daughter take the fall for the killing.
Text messages included in the affidavit show Runyon and Littlefield argued often about money, with Runyon once requesting bail money for Walker, who had been jailed in Ohio on unrelated drug charges.
Littlefield several times mentions Walker failing to do the “work around the house” she paid him for.
“You said he’d be coming here and doing the (expletive) himself that I was promised and gave him $2500 for,” Littlefield writes in an exchange from November 2020.
Walker told investigators that work was Littlefield’s code “for killing Fran” and “…that Heidi never actually asked him or hired him to do legitimate work on her house.”
He said Littlefield attempted “to get Logan to take the blame for the whole case, and Logan told him that she was going to do it,” the affidavit says.
“Walker advised he recalled Heidi asking Logan if Logan ‘was cool with going to prison for the rest of her life,'” the documents say.