“He told me that if he was ever found dead, it’s because Nikki did it,” Jamie Weast told PEOPLE about her brother Jim Cappello, who was allegedly murdered by his wife, Nikki. “I sort of shrugged it off, because I didn’t think he was serious. You just would never think that you could be so close to someone who would be capable of doing something like this,” she said.
Jim was reported missing by his wife, who is accused of poisoning him using insulin she obtained from her work as a nurse at a local hospital. Weast said her brother uttered those now very disturbing words during a phone call just a week before his murder. The two were discussing he and Nikki’s strained, eight-year marriage in which they shared a 4-year-old daughter.
Weast said when she and her husband pulled up to her brother’s Huntsville home on Sept. 22, 2018, police informed her that they had found Jim’s body in the garage, and also discovered a partially-dug hole in the couple’s backyard.
Jim was a self-employed private detective who was looking into his wife’s suspected drug abuse, what police believe may have been a motive for Nikki to harm him. Nikki was arrested and charged with murder upon the discovery of Jim’s body, but posted bond two days later and has been living in the home she once shared with her husband ever since. She also surrendered her nursing license immediately after her arrest.
“She’s giving nurses a bad name,” Weast says. “We take care of people. We hold their hands during their last breath. People die in our arms, and we take that to heart. How was she able to do this to a healthy individual that she loved? I just don’t know.”
According to the indictment obtained by PEOPLE, Nikki Cappello is accused of slowly poisoning Jim, who was reported missing by his wife the day before his body was found. Weast says her brother was investigating his wife’s alleged addiction to painkillers but says he was not thinking about divorcing her or taking their daughter away.
“He never spoke to any lawyers,” Weast says. “He knew she had an out-of-control pill problem, and he started investigating her, looking through her bags. He had a GPS on her and started looking into things more, and he wanted her to have an intervention. He took all this information he had collected, and he was devastated. He brought it to her loved ones and showed them everything, and was like, ‘Help me help her. I want to have an intervention, and I need your help.’ But they never came through with it, and it was just not too long after that that he was found dead.” She said her brother’s concern over Nikki’s alleged drug use was driven solely by his love for his daughter.
Weast is now taking care of Jim and Nikki’s little girl and says she plans to seek full custody of her niece after her sister-in-law’s criminal trial concludes. “He didn’t want her under Nikki’s care, not if she was abusing drugs,” Weast said. “Nikki needs to be behind bars because she thought this through, and she was willing to get rid of her daughter’s father and screw up her life. She will be a teen one day, and she will Google her dad’s name, and she will have questions that I don’t know that we’ll ever get the answers to.”
Nikki denies killing her husband and will stand trial sometime in 2021. If convicted, she faces life in prison.