Arizona Man Who Confessed to Stabbing Grandmother to Death Receives 2 Life Sentences

Kos Temenes
By Kos Temenes
December 8, 2023US News
Arizona Man Who Confessed to Stabbing Grandmother to Death Receives 2 Life Sentences
File photo of police tape. (Andri Tambunan/AFP via Getty Images)

A man from Arizona was sentenced to two life sentences after pleading guilty on Dec. 1 to fatally stabbing a 75-year-old Texan woman in her home in 2019.

Marco Cobos, 24, drove to Houston in a truck he stole in Arizona in May of 2019 to meet with someone he had apparently met online, according to a  release from the Harris County District Attorney’s office.

However, when that meeting did not happen, Mr. Cobos began sleeping in the truck, which he parked in a quiet neighborhood in the small community of Sharpstown.

This alarmed members of the tight-knit community who had noticed the truck. They alerted the authorities multiple times, but Mr. Cobos continued sleeping in the parked truck for several days.

Then, on May 19, he knocked on the door of his victim, Etta Nugent, a grandmother who had been working as a secretary at a Houston-area Catholic church for 25 years. He asked her for water and to charge his phone.

Mrs. Nugent, who was alone in her home, did not feel comfortable allowing Mr. Cobos to enter her house and instead directed him to a neighbor who could help.

Mrs. Nugent’s husband was in a medical facility at the time due to poor health.

Shortly afterward, Mr. Cobos returned to her door, this time pushing it in and forcing his way into her home, where he began stabbing her with a knife he had brought with him. He then continued to attack Mrs. Nugent with one of her kitchen knives.

Mr. Cobos stabbed her more than a dozen times over several hours until she eventually succumbed to her injuries.

After killing the woman, Mr. Cobos took a shower at her residence and washed his clothes. He then left the house to buy a hamburger and returned afterward to eat while Mrs. Nugent’s body lay in the living room.

He then ransacked the house, taking what he could, and stole Mrs. Nugent’s car. He drove to a local motel, where he checked in and went to sleep, the report states.

Mrs. Nugent’s body was discovered after her adult son, who was worried about his mother, came to check up on her.

He then alerted the Houston Police Department, which led to a subsequent investigation into the crime. Police did not have to wait long until Mr. Cobos reappeared at the property the next day to retrieve his truck from the murder scene while investigators were still collecting evidence.

Mr. Cobos was immediately detained for driving the victim’s stolen car. When confronted by officers, he confessed to what happened, admitting that Mrs. Nugent pleaded for her life and even told him she was a mother and grandmother with an ailing husband.

Mr. Cobos pleaded guilty on Dec. 1, before the start of his trial, to both murder and aggravated robbery in exchange for two life sentences, which were stacked, according to the DA’s report.

According to Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg, the judge’s verdict reflected the crime.

“This brutal murder was both senseless and premeditated, and this was the right result because we were able to get justice without the family having to go through a painful and traumatic trial. This killer will now spend decades, and hopefully the rest of his life, in prison,” Ms. Ogg said.

Assistant District Attorney Lynn Nguyen, who is a chief in the DA’s Office and who prosecuted Mr. Cobos, called the case truly horrendous and the worst possible nightmare for anyone who has an elderly parent living on their own.

“You don’t want to believe that something like this could happen in our community, but when it does, we do everything possible to seek justice for the victim and their family,” Ms. Nguyen said.

Prior to ensuring his plea bargain, Mr. Cobos was facing life without parole if convicted of capital murder. He now faces at least 60 years in prison before he is eligible for parole and cannot appeal the conviction or the two prison sentences.

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