The man who set his house on fire killing his three young kids is sentenced Thursday. Timothy Nicholls will serve life behind bars without the possibility of parole for the March 2003 fire on Undimmed Circle.
The maternal grandma spoke to 11 News. She says this day is bittersweet. Dr. Sandra Wilson takes us to a small area at the daycare where the Nicholls children used to go to. It’s now a memorial garden. "This area seemed perfect; it used to just be a slab of rock with a tree and what better way to beautify the area," Jennifer Samuels with Small Wonders Junior Academy says.
Wilson built it with the help of donations over the past year. Her favorite place is a statue of the children. “It’s the essence of the spirit of Jay, Sophia and Sierra… knowing that they’re remembered in beautiful loving way."
The children at the daycare release hundreds of ladybugs into the garden. "It's a beautiful day. It's Sierra's birthday. She loved lady bugs and she's getting a kick seeing this," says Wilson. It’s a garden full of flowers, mainly forget-me-nots. "This is life beginning, this is Spring, this is what it's all about."
A firefighter is also there for the dedication. "We were the first crew there that night of the fire. Another firefighter found Sophia and I was the one that brought her out. This is something nice that has come out of something tragic," says Springs Paramedic Firefighter Clark Gaddie.
Wilson says now that her son-in-law Nicholls has been sentenced, she feels justice has been done. In August, Wilson's daughter will go to trial for drug and theft charges in connection with the March 2003 fire.
If you would like to make donations to help maintain the memorial park for the children, go to any US Bank and the fund is under the Nicholls’ Children Fund.