Illegal Immigrant Arrested and Charged with Stabbing Texas Grandmother to Death

May 25, 2019 Updated: May 25, 2019

A 19-year-old man arrested and charged in the murder of a 75-year-old Texas grandmother is an illegal immigrant from Mexico.

Records show that Immigration and Customs Enforcement has placed an immigration detainer on Marco Cobos, 19, after he was arrested for killing Etta Nugent, the grandmother, reported the Houston Chronicle. The illegal status of Cobos was confirmed by a law enforcement official to the openly conservative Breitbart website.

Prosecutors said during a court appearance by Cobos on May 22 that he was a Mexican national but did not specify that he was an illegal immigrant. Cobos’s lawyer said during court that the immigrant has lived in the United States for 18 years.

Police said that Cobos was living in a truck he had stolen and parked in front of the Houston home of Etta Nugent, the grandmother.

On May 20, Cobos went to the house and asked Nugent for help fixing the truck. “She was unable to do so because of her age. Cobos then forced his way into her home and stabbed her repeatedly,” the Houston Police Department stated.

Investigators who spoke to Cobos said that he told them he stabbed Nugent in the chest after she refused to help him.

That first stabbing didn’t kill the woman so Cobos went into the kitchen to look for other knives. He heard the front door open and saw the woman trying to flee so he “grabbed her in a bear hug and stabbed her several more times until she died,” reported KTRK.

Cobos said he spoke to the victim as she begged for her life.

Cobos then stole Nugent’s car, credit cards, and $560 in cash that she had.

Cobos returned to the home the next day and was apprehended.

Police said he confessed to killing Nugent. He was charged with capital murder.

Cobos’s defense attorney, Alvin Nunnery, said that he wasn’t sure whether his client was in the country legally.

“There is a question of whether or not he is in the country legally or not,” Nunnery told KPRC. “His country of origin is apparently Mexico.”

He said Cobos had been living in Phoenix before moving to Texas.

During the court appearance, Cobos declined to speak.

“What we did today was invoke [Cobos’s] fifth amendment right to remain silent, as well as his sixth amendment right to counsel,” said Nunnery.

Nugent’s family, meanwhile, released a lengthy statement, the Houston Chronicle reported.

“The family of Etta Nugent is heartbroken and in absolute shock at the senseless tragedy that unfolded before them this week. Etta was a kind, gentle, and generous woman who lived her life with unwavering dedication to her faith, family, and friends. To see her life end in such a tragic, evil manner is simply unexplainable,” the family said in a statement. “Etta leaves behind her husband of 53 years, their three children, and six adoring grandchildren, all of Houston.”

Neighbors React

People in the community were stunned by the brutal killing.

“She was well loved. I loved her so much,” neighbor and friend Sharon Shanahan told KHOU. “She’s just salt of the Earth, we’ve known each other for 35 years. I still can’t believe it, I’m still in shock about it.”

“Why her?” added Shanahan. “Because she was such a gentle soul. I don’t understand.”

Council member Mike Laster represents Sharpstown and has known the Nugent family for a number of years.

“Just devastated is what comes to mind,” Laster told KTRK. “Evil exists. It happens. And we are all our brother’s keepers and we all need to keep an eye on each other and keep an eye on the area.”

Follow Zachary on Twitter: @zackstieber