A 29-year-old man was arrested Monday after police say he confessed to his involvement in the murder of a Fort Worth business owner and socialite.
It was inside a sprawling southwest Fort Worth home that police now say they found the body of 49-year-old Nikki Blahitka, laying in a bed with a gunshot wound to her head. Police say she was discovered by her housekeeper and her own son.
And Joshua Henry is her accused murderer.
“I know who I’m being accused of murder, yes ma'am,” Henry told News 8 from inside the Mansfield Jail Tuesday. “We have dated off and on for the last year or so.”
Police said Blahitka, a prominent figure in Fort Worth’s social landscape and owner of a hugely successful roofing company, was killed in a home on the 3600 block of Middlewood Drive on Dec. 30.
Police said Henry “confessed” to his involvement in Blahitka’s murder Monday during a voluntary meeting. Hours later, with an arrest warrant signed, they took him into custody. Police said they surveilled him the entire time while they waited for the warrant.
In his jailhouse interview, Henry denied killing Blahitka and said it was a “good question” when asked why he thought he was in jail.
He gave a different story than police, saying all he admitted to them was that he and Blahitka spent the evening of December 29th together, first going to Cabela’s, then eating dinner at Silver Fox. He said they then went back to her home but he didn’t stay.
“Because I was asked to leave,” Henry said. “Because I wanted to step outside and smoke a cigarette and she thought I was leaving. I said ‘I’m not leaving; I’m going to just step outside to have a cigarette.’ She got upset and so I left.”
He told us he then walked home.
He said police told him he was the last person to see her alive. She was discovered the next day. He said he has no idea who killed Blahitka.
“I think it’s awful. It’s very sad,” he said.
“Obviously a magistrate thought there was probable cause to issue an arrest warrant,” responds Sgt. Povero to Henry’s claims he didn’t do it.
The investigation was ongoing, but police said they believe Henry acted alone.
Blahitka’s ex-husband, Mark, told News 8 today he couldn’t say anything more about the case other than to say Nikki was a great mother.
Blahitka’s Facebook page says she was an owner at Lon Smith Roofing, a top residential roofing contractor started by her father over 40 years ago. David Cox, president of Lon Smith Roofing, released the following statement:
"The entire Lon Smith organization mourns the loss of our colleague and loved one--Nikki Blahitka. She was a great owner and manager at our company; but she was an even better person. We pray for Nikki's mother, Judy Smith, and the entire family during this time."
The Star-Telegram added the following about Henry's criminal past:
Court records show Henry was arrested for possession of marijuana on Nov. 2, 2010. The charge was lowered to possession of drug paraphernalia. He was sentenced to deferred adjudication and successfully completed his probation.
Henry was arrested on Aug. 13, 2014 and charged with assault bodily injury and unlawful restraint, but in court the charges were reduced to disorderly conduct, Tarrant County court records show. He got deferred adjudication and successfully completed his probation, and doesn’t have a conviction on his record for those offenses.
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