‘I have cried every day;’ Family of man murdered by roommate in Troy speaks out in court

TROY — Family members of a man murdered by his roommate urged a Miami County Common Pleas Court judge to not let that roommate have any possibility of parole.

>> PREVIOUS COVERAGE: Testimony: Troy man stabbed, beat roommate 60 times before dumping body in Indiana

Troy police said Sean Higgins killed his roommate Easton Ho, 25, in April.

News Center 7′s Mike Campbell was in court as family members spoke out on what they think Higgins’ punishment should be.

Higgins had already pleaded guilty to charges, including murder, in connection to the death of his former roommate Ho.

A judge must now contemplate if Higgins will have a chance to get out of prison in his lifetime or be ordered to be held without the possibility of parole.

“I have cried every day for seven months,” Adrienne Baker, the victim’s sister said.

The Miami County prosecutor asked her and her family to share her thoughts with the judge about Higgins.

The last person to speak was Madeline Ponchillia, who lived in an apartment with Higgins and Ho — she was also Ho’s unofficial fiance.

“I don’t know what was going through your head at the time, I don’t think I want to know but it was intentional, you lied to me,” Ponchillia said.

She was referring to Higgins’ plot that quickly unraveled as Troy police began looking into Ho’s disappearance in April.

>> PREVIOUS COVERAGE: Troy man pleads guilty to killing, cutting thumb off of roommate

Officers learned that Ho’s car was found in Kettering.

Then they suspected he sent group messages off Ho’s phone to Ponchillia with himself trying to divert attention.

Police discovered signs of a struggle in the home and the garage. They brought Higgins in for an interview where he eventually confessed to murdering Ho.

Higgins’ lawyer insisted that Higgins was the one that told police where they could find Ho.

“Sean Higgins does not deserve a chance at parole, he knowingly murdered my brother in cold blood,” Baker said.

“To think someone you think is a friend, someone you helped often, could come home one day and murder you in cold blood is a terrifying thought,” Ashley Ho, Easton’s sister said.

Police detectives testified that it appeared Higgins made internet searches about reporting a missing person months before the crime.

Easton’s fiance said his death ruined their future together and now thinks Higgins’ future should not involve ever leaving prison.

“Is it safe to give him a chance back in society? I do not believe so, individuals that commit such acts do not deserve mercy or sympathy,” Ponchillia said.

The judge also heard from Higgins’ family members at the hearing.

In a week the judge will decide either to sentence him to life in prison without parole or give him an option to potentially convince the parole board to release him at some point in the future.