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Heather R. McGlothen and her maternal grandmother had been feuding for months, McGlothen's uncle said.
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Marilyn Hegge, 78, found dead in her Red River Drive home last week, was allowing her granddaughter and three great-grandchildren stay at the house. McGlothen, her uncle says, was angry that Hegge would not allow her boyfriend, Dominique D. Lewis, to spend the night.
Hegge was frustrated that McGlothen and Lewis couldn't keep jobs and wanted her granddaughter to move out, said Hegge's adopted son, Carlos "Charlie" E. Hegge, 43.
Carlos Hegge, who is currently in jail facing charges of sexual abuse, said Wednesday evening that he thinks McGlothen, 22, and Lewis, 26, conspired to kill his mother so they could have her house to themselves.
McGlothen and Lewis pleaded not guilty Wednesday in Fayette District Court to charges of murder, burglary, fraudulent use of a credit card and tampering with evidence. Police say McGlothen and Lewis fatally beat Marilyn Hegge, a retired neonatal nurse at the University of Kentucky hospital.
Lewis has confessed to causing Hegge's death, according to a police report filed in district court. The police report also says McGlothen and Lewis spent $135 with her grandmother's credit card at Walmart.
McGlothen and Lewis are being held in the Fayette County Detention Center on $268,000 bond each.
Relatives declined to comment after a video arraignment.
A third suspect was arrested in connection with Marilyn Hegge's death late Wednesday. David Wayne Lewis, 28, Dominique Lewis' brother, was charged with burglary and tampering with evidence.
The brother of Dominique Lewis, David Lewis, 28, is accused of helping to cover up the crime.
Based on interviews with McGlothen and Dominique Lewis, police say David Lewis was in Marilyn Hegge's residence with his brother, according to court documents.
He was in the house when McGlothen allegedly killed Hegge, but there is no evidence that he knew that was going to happen, Lexington Police Lt. James Curless said.
The brothers allegedly took Hegge's purse, then went to David Lewis' apartment where Dominique Lewis removed his clothing and stuffed it in a trash bag along with the purse and murder weapon.
Then, McGlothen drove David Lewis to rural Jessamine County, where he buried the evidence, according to court records.
McGlothen, Dominique Lewis and David Lewis declined interview requests at the jail, according to a Fayette County Detention Center spokesman.
David Lewis is scheduled to be arraigned at 1 p.m. Thursday in Fayette District Court.
Police say a granddaughter discovered Hegge dead in the home last week. It was Marilyn Hegge's birthday. Investigators have said the home was not broken into.
Carlos Hegge, who lived at the house on Red River Drive, was arrested in August on accusations that he sexually abused McGlothen.
McGlothen told police her uncle crawled into her bed with a flashlight and reached under her shorts, according to court records.
But the uncle says McGlothen fabricated the story out of retribution because he caused her boyfriend to get arrested for marijuana possession in July.
Dominique Lewis, who has been jailed once for a charge of carrying a concealed weapon and twice for possession of marijuana, was arrested July 5, according to jail records.
Carlos Hegge said that, if he had been home, "I would have tried to protect my mom to the highest."
"I was with her most of the time," he said.
Hegge denies the charge of sex abuse. He says he was in McGlothen's room, which he described as the family room, searching in the dark for "rolling papers" to make cigarettes. He said he tripped and fell at the edge of the bed.
The uncle and niece both testified to a grand jury, which found probable cause and indicted Hegge on a felony charge of first-degree sexual abuse.
Police Lt. James Curless said police are aware of the August arrest. He declined to say whether it is related to the slaying.
"This is a convoluted case, and I can't give answers to some of the questions you're asking," Curless said. "It is premature for me to be getting into those facts and specifics."
Carlos Hegge said his mother believed his side of the story. He also acknowledged that she declined to post $5,000 bond to get him out of jail. He says it was because she wanted him to sober up.
McGlothen stayed at her grandmother's home off and on since May, Carlos Hegge said. Relatives say she continued living in the house even after her grandmother's death, according to Carlos Hegge
Carlos Hegge said his mother was a devout Christian. He described her as quiet and caring.
Marilyn Hegge adopted her son and daughter, Lillie, from Costa Rica when they were 5 and 6. Carlos Hegge said he was close to her and helped her cook and grocery shop.
"She was one of the most perfect people I know," Carlos Hegge said.