Della Nichols was enraged when she thought her half-brother had molested her 6-year-old daughter. So the former Oklahoma City stripper had her boyfriend kill him, police say.
Nichols and Adrian Escajeda, the boyfriend, were arrested last week for the Dec. 5 murder, after more than a month on the lam. Police finally caught up with them in Mexico with the help of local authorities, and extradited them to Oklahoma through Texas.
The two apparently skipped town after Nichols gave her paramour a directive to cut out the legal system and take justice into his own hands by killing her half-brother, Ulises Lopez. “We were advised Della said she sent… Escajeda to assault the man and do street justice,” the police affidavit said.
“I love you I did this for you… I accept whatever is coming for me,” Escajeda, the boyfriend, allegedly texted Nichols after the body was discovered. “Don’t forget that there was no one who did something big like this… so you know that I really love you… I’m sorry I destroyed your Christmas again.”
It was Nichols’s own mother who walked in to find her son’s gruesomely executed body.
“It’s hard when a mother walks in a house and finds a son on a floor,” Maria Lopez told a local FOX affiliate. “I saw his bedroom, the door was open… the door was open and I call his name…”
The mother found him with duct tape covering his face, his hands bound with zip ties, and his feet with duct tape. Escajeda had allegedly wrapped a black belt around the victim’s neck, choking him.
Police got a tip about what might’ve led to the murder shortly thereafter, and even interviewed Nichols and Escajeda at the station after finding the body. The two were evasive, police said, but they were not arrested.
Their home smelled like bleach, according to the affidavit, and authorities then got a warrant to search the home, where they found the incriminating text messages but not the couple. They had fled to Mexico with Nichols’s 6-year-old daughter, police believed. It wasn’t until five weeks later that they were spotted across the border. Photos of the arrest show the couple guarded by U.S. Marshals.
"When I heard that according to my daughter, she say my son was touching my granddaughter and that's not true," Maria Lopez, the mother, said.
Nichols’s daughter, who was apparently with her mother, is reportedly in the custody of Child Protective Services in El Paso, Texas.