Carroll man sentenced to life for fatal stabbing

May 13, 2004

A Carroll County man was sentenced yesterday to life in prison without the possibility of parole in the stabbing death of his former mother-in-law, who was a fixture on local talk radio known as "Helga from Westminster."

Leon A. Costley Jr., 39, showed little emotion as Carroll County Circuit Judge Michael M. Galloway imposed the sentence. On the other side of the courtroom, the victim's husband, Robert V. Nicholls Sr., and their daughter, Kristina Costley, wrapped their arms around each other and cried.

Helga Nicholls, 53, was found dead Aug. 14, 2002, from more than a dozen stab wounds. A jury convicted Costley of first-degree murder and weapons offenses in October.

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