The announcement was made on Tuesday by Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg of Texas, who stated that the perpetrator, Marcos Cobos, "will now spend decades, and hopefully the rest of his life, in prison."
The sentencing brings a measure of relief to the victim's family, who will be spared the ordeal of a "painful and traumatic trial," as Cobos pleaded guilty to both Nugent's 2019 murder and aggravated robbery on Friday.
The chilling sequence of events began in May 2019 when Cobos stole a Ford F-150 in Arizona and drove to Houston, intending to meet an individual he had allegedly connected with online. When the meeting fell through, Cobos took up residence in the stolen vehicle in Sharpstown, a close-knit community where the out-of-place truck soon attracted attention. Despite multiple reports to law enforcement, Cobos was left undisturbed for several days.
On May 19, 2019, Cobos approached Nugent's home, asking for water and to charge his phone. Nugent, a mother of three and grandmother of six, had served as a parish secretary at Holy Ghost Catholic Church in Houston for 25 years. Her husband of over 50 years was in a medical facility due to deteriorating health, as reported by the Victoria Advocate.
Nugent, displaying sound judgement, refused to let Cobos into her home, suggesting he seek assistance from another neighbor. However, Cobos returned shortly after, forced his way into Nugent's home, and stabbed her in the chest with a knife he had brought along. He then sought a sharper weapon from the kitchen.
In a horrifying account provided to the police, Cobos admitted to seeing Nugent attempting to escape, only to drag her back inside and continue his assault with her kitchen knives. The Harris County District Attorney's Office revealed that Cobos stabbed Nugent at least 13 times, spreading the attacks over several hours until she finally succumbed to her injuries.
While Nugent lay dying, Cobos reportedly did his laundry, took a shower, and even left the house to buy a burger, which he consumed near Nugent's body. He then proceeded to ransack Nugent's home, used her credit cards to pay his phone bill, and stole her car.
When Nugent failed to visit her ailing husband as scheduled, her family grew concerned. Her son discovered her body when he rushed to her home. Cobos, who had fled the scene and taken refuge in a nearby motel, was apprehended by the police when he returned to move his stolen truck. He confessed to the murder shortly after his arrest.
In a poignant statement following Nugent's death, her family described her as a "kind, gentle and generous woman who lived her life with unwavering dedication to her faith, family and friends." The family expressed their anguish at the tragic and evil circumstances of her death.
Assistant District Attorney Lynn Nguyen, who prosecuted Cobos, described the case as "truly horrendous" and "the worst possible nightmare for anyone who has an elderly parent living on their own." She added, "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."
As per Cobos' plea deal, he will serve 60 years in prison before becoming eligible for parole. He is also barred from appealing the conviction or the dual life sentences.
This case adds to a concerning trend, as U.S. Customs and Border Protection reports show that 29 illegal aliens have been convicted for murder in the U.S. in the fiscal year 2023, following 62 convictions the previous year, and 60 the year before that.