NEW PORT RICHEY — The teenager accused of planning a brutal attack to end his girlfriend's pregnancy is charged with seeking a second assailant after the first attack failed.
Devin Nickels, 18, offered three men $200 to beat his 17-year-old girlfriend violently enough to cause a miscarriage, Pasco County sheriff's deputies said. Nickels, a Florida State University freshman, said the pregnancy was "ruining his life."
Nickels' high school classmate, Andres Marrero, 19, agreed to help, staging a robbery outside a New Port Richey apartment complex in the early dark of New Year's Day. Deputies said he forced the girl into the woods at gunpoint and, as she begged him to stop, punched and kicked her repeatedly in the stomach.
The girl was hospitalized, and her baby, at 11 weeks in utero, appeared to recover. That's when, deputies said, Nickels asked another man to beat the girl again.
Marrero, a University of Tampa student, told deputies of Nickels' second plan after his own arrest on charges of armed kidnapping and aggravated battery on a pregnant woman.
Nickels was arrested last week in his dorm room at FSU's Salley Hall. He was transported to the Pasco jail in Land O'Lakes, where he remains on charges of aggravated battery and two counts of solicitation to commit aggravated battery.
The most recent solicitation charge was added Monday.
Two of the three men Nickels asked to help with the first attack refused, telling the Sheriff's Office of his plan last month, deputies wrote. Authorities said Nickels told the men in recorded phone calls that he had planned the beating for two months, during the girl's first weeks of pregnancy, and said he knew it would amount to "attempted murder."
Marshall Lee Chapman, 18, the Hillsborough Community College student who deputies allege gave Nickels' BB gun to Marrero and drove him to the beating, also has been charged in the armed kidnapping and aggravated battery.
Nickels, Marrero and Chapman graduated last summer from Sunlake High School in Land O'Lakes.
The New Port Richey girl was not identified. The baby, a deputy wrote Monday, appears to be fine.
Contact Drew Harwell at (727) 869-6244 or firstname.lastname@example.org.