Man confesses to stabbing woman to death, charged with capital murder, police say

By Cory McCord - Digital News Editor, Jacob Rascon - Anchor-Reporter, Daniela Sternitzky-Di Napoli - Digital News Editor, Cathy Hernandez - Reporter, Phil Archer - Reporter
KPRC2

Marco Cobos (L) and Etta Nugent (R)

HOUSTON - Police have identified the man who they said killed a 75-year-old woman at her Sharpstown home Monday.

Marco Cobos, 19, was arrested and is being charged with capital murder. Police said he confessed to fatally stabbing Etta Nugent inside her home.

Houston police said they got a call around 1:30 p.m. after a man found his mother dead at her house in the 8100 block of Neff Street.

Neighbors said Nugent was supposed to visit her husband at a nearby nursing home Monday. When she didn't show up, her son went to check on her.

"He went inside and found the family member deceased," Lt. Larry Crowson said. "Officers talked to some people in the area and developed a suspect of a male who had been acting suspiciously in the area."

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Authorities said Cobos had been living out of a stolen pickup truck in the area for at least two days prior to the incident.

"(Cobos) doesn't live in this area," Crowson said. "We're not looking for anybody else."

Police said Cobos knocked on Nugent's door and asked for something to drink and help with his truck. When Nugent said she couldn't help because of her old age, he forced his way into the home and stabbed her, police said.

Cobos also took multiple items from the home, including Nugent's vehicle, police said.

Officers said Cobos was arrested after he was seen driving the vehicle at the scene of the crime.

VIDEO: HPD provides updates after woman found dead at Sharpstown home

Residents are shocked at the incident, saying the area is quiet and safe.

"(It's a) great, great neighborhood," Austin Smith said. "To hear about, to see this and hear about it, it’s just awful."

Nugent lived in the neighborhood for decades. Her home on Neff Street is across the street from St. Frances de Sales Catholic Church and School. Neighbors said Nugent's three children had attended the school, and that she was a devout member of the congregation.

"Not only am I sad for her, but I'm worried about the rest of us who are in the area," Margie Glick said.

The church community was shocked at the news. Nugent had been a parishioner there for more than 30 years.

“She was the nicest person and would give anybody anything they need. I don’t know why he had to kill her,” said church member Francis Wilson.

Other church members said the news was tragic.

“A lot of senior citizens go to church here and I think it makes them very vulnerable,” said church member Margie Glick. “(She was) a very positive, holy woman. It’s a tragedy and sorrowful thing, but ... God will be with them.”

Bobbi Kahanek stopped by Nugent's home Tuesday to leave flowers. She said she didn’t know Nugent personally, but still feels the loss.

“I heard it was in my neighborhood. I started crying. I literally got scared,” Kahanek said. “I'm not scared for myself, but there’s a lot of elderly in the neighborhood. It’s an old neighborhood.”

The sense of security that existed in the close-knit neighborhood is now fractured.

"It really just concerns me this could happen here. There really wasn’t much thought into it,” said Matt Wine, the Sharpstown Civic Association president. “So this could have happened to anybody, and so personally, I just know as a neighbor, I hope my neighbors are watching out for me and kind of know my routines and I want to do the same for them.”

Nugent was the mother of six daughters. Her family has not spoken publicly about her death.

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