A 25-year-old man was indicted Dec. 5 by an Ellis County grand jury on felony charges of burglary of a habitation and aggravated robbery. Marcus Lashun Nelson faces the charges relating to a Sept. 12 incident in Ennis in which an 89-year-old woman was attacked in her home and left unconscious by her assailant.
In a jailhouse interview with the Daily Light in late September, Nelson said he was present during the attack, which he said was committed by a cousin and another friend.
“I was there. I know what happened,” he said. “I didn’t do it. I gave them (the police) everything. I told them everything. I’ve been really trying to open my heart.”
In an interview after the indictments were returned, assistant district attorney Patrick Wilson said Nelson is the lone suspect in the case. “The police confidently ruled out involvement by any other parties,” he said.
Because Nelson has prior felony convictions, the two charges are being filed as first-degree felonies. Nelson has a prior felony as a juvenile and another as an adult, both for burglary of a habitation.
If convicted in this case, he faces a prison sentence of from five to 99 years or life.
The woman has been released from the hospital, where she was initially hospitalized in critical condition, but remains under 24-hour care at a nursing home, Wilson said, saying the hope is she will continue to recover enough to go into an assisted living situation.
The woman has been able to communicate with police and does remember the attack, Wilson said.
Police have indicated they are prepared to file a capital murder charge if the woman were to pass away from her injuries, which they said in earlier interviews included a skull fracture. Police have not released the name of the victim at her family’s request.
During his jailhouse interview, Nelson said police targeted him because of his prior juvenile trouble and his adult conviction that saw his release from prison about eight months ago after serving a five-year sentence.
“I used to do bad,” said Nelson, who described the attack in detail to the Daily Light, saying his cousin was the one who wrapped a small concrete yard ornament - a rabbit - in a towel before striking the woman twice in the forehead with it, knocking her down in her home.
Nelson said police told him they have DNA evidence linking him to the scene and acknowledged he had a piece of the woman’s jewelry in his possession when he was taken into custody.
He also acknowledged to the Daily Light that he left the woman there in her home without seeking any aid on her behalf and said he knows he may be held accountable for that lack of action.
Nelson told the Daily Light he regrets not helping the woman and said God has told him he shouldn’t have walked away and has asked him, “Wouldn’t you want someone to have called for help for you?”
“I had to answer him back, “Dang it, man, you got me,” Nelson said, saying the Lord is working with him “so I don’t make the same mistake again. “I asked him, Lord, forgive me,” and he said, “I forgive you but I never can forget. I told him, God, I was with my homeboys. I wanted to do something but I couldn’t.”
He said he’s leaving everything in God’s hands.
“There’s only one judge and he’s the man upstairs,” he said. “He sees everything that’s happening 24/7. He knows what happened.”
Nelson remains in custody at Wayne McCollum Detention Center under a $150,000 bond.