An Arizona man pleaded guilty on Friday to fatally stabbing a 75-year-old woman in her Sharpstown home and was sentenced to two life sentences, Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg announced.
“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,” Ogg said. “This killer will now spend decades, and hopefully the rest of his life, in prison.”
Marco Cobos, 24, stole a truck in Arizona and drove to Houston in May of 2019 to meet with someone he had apparently met online. However, when that meeting did not happen, Cobos began sleeping in his truck parked in a quiet neighborhood in Sharpstown.
Residents in the tight-knit community noticed the truck and called authorities several times, but Cobos continued sleeping in the parked truck for several days until May 19, 2019.
On that day, he knocked on the door of 75-year-old Etta Nugent, a beloved mother and grandmother who had been the secretary at a Houston-area Catholic church for 25 years. Nugent’s husband had been moved to a medical facility due to his poor health and her children were grown.
Cobos asked Nugent for water and to charge his phone, but Nugent did not feel comfortable letting him in. She directed him to another neighbor who would help him and closed the door.
Minutes later, Cobos returned to her door, pushed it in and began stabbing the elderly woman with a knife he brought and then continued the assault with one of her kitchen knives, stabbing her at least 13 times over several hours until she finally died of her wounds.
Cobos then did his laundry at her house and took a shower. He also left to buy a hamburger, which he brought back to the home and ate while Nugent’s body was in the living room.
He then ransacked the house, taking what he could, and stole Nugent’s car. He drove to a local motel where he checked in and went to sleep.
Nugent’s adult son, worried about his mother, went to the home and found her body. He called the Houston Police Department who began investigating.
The next day, while police were still at the home, Cobos returned in Nugent’s car to move his truck away from the murder scene.
He was detained for driving the victim’s stolen car and confessed to what happened. He admitted that Nugent pleaded for her life and even told him she was a mother and grandmother with an ailing husband.
On Friday, before his trial was set to begin, Cobos pleaded guilty to both murder and aggravated robbery in exchange for two life sentences, which were stacked.
Assistant District Attorney Lynn Nguyen, who is a chief in the DA’s Office, prosecuted Cobos.
“This case is truly horrendous and is the worst possible nightmare for anyone who has an elderly parent living on their own,” Nguyen said. “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.”
Cobos was facing life without parole if convicted of capital murder. The plea deal ensures that he will spend at least 60 years in prison before he is eligible for parole. He also cannot appeal the conviction or the two prison sentences.
Do you like this page?