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Indiana woman gets 115 years for poisoning man's oatmeal and strangling him with his favorite tie

The two were battling over custody of their 2-year-old.

An Indiana woman who poisoned the oatmeal of her child's father and strangled him with his favorite tie has been sentenced to more than 100 years in prison.

Heidi Marie Littlefield, 42, was sentenced last Friday to 60 years for murder and 55 years more on counts related to conspiracy to commit murder, according to Hamilton County Superior Court records.

The Hamilton County Jail in Noblesville, Ind.
The Hamilton County Jail in Noblesville, Ind.Google Maps

An attorney for Littlefield could not be reached for comment Thursday.

After Francis “Fran” Kelley was discovered dead in January 2021, an autopsy determined that he had been strangled, the affidavit said. He also had fentanyl in his system, the affidavit said.

A warrant was obtained to search Kelley’s cellphone and iPad, which determined that Littlefield, the mother of one of Kelley’s children, had been at his home days before he was found dead, according to text messages between the two.

“The two were in the middle of a custody battle regarding their 2-year-old child in common," the affidavit said.

In one exchange, he questioned whether she had tampered with his oatmeal, according to the court document.

“Did you do something to the oatmeal that was in my fridge?” he asked her.

Officials say Littlefield, her adult daughter and that woman's boyfriend plotted to kill Kelley. The women laced his food with fentanyl, according to the affidavit.

They found Kelley unresponsive at his home, and Littlefield "grabbed Fran’s 'favorite tie'" and strangled him, the affidavit says.

She tried to bludgeon him in the head, the daughter's boyfriend told investigators, according to the affidavit.

When Littlefield was convicted of murder and conspiracy to commit murder, her daughter provided some of the most damaging testimony, The Indianapolis Star reported in August.

The woman testified that she and her mother tried to poison Kelley three times. After the third time, they snuck into his home and found him face-down on the floor and gasping for breath, the newspaper reported. Littlefield asked her daughter to break Kelley’s neck, but she couldn’t, the daughter said, because he was too heavy.

Littlefield's daughter pleaded guilty in March to conspiracy to commit murder and was sentenced to 26 years in prison. A murder charge was dropped in exchange for her testimony, the newspaper reported.

Her boyfriend pleaded guilty in May to conspiracy to commit murder. He was sentenced to 10 years, according to The Star.