Guilty plea in 2010 robbery, murder

Shawn Tyler Nelson

A Beaumont man has pleaded guilty to his part in a deadly 2010 grocery store robbery. 

Shawn Tyler Nelson, 22, was indicted by a Jefferson County grand jury Oct. 28, 2010 for Capital Murder, a first degree felony. 

According to a probable cause affidavit obtained by The Examiner, Nelson and two other accomplices entered the Van’s Convenience Store on Avenue A in Beaumont brandishing guns and demanding money. 

After fleeing the robbery, police arrived on the scene only to find that the store clerk, Dang Nguyen, a Lamar nursing student, was dead with a single gunshot wound to her head. 

Prosecutors succesfully convicted Labyron Jaffar Warren in September 2012 as the trigger man behind the murder, essentially guaranteeing a lesser sentence for Nelson and Warren’s other accomplice. 

Nguyen was shot in the head at close range, according to testimony Wednesday, Sept. 12, 2012, by a forensic pathologist who showed jurors gruesome photos of the victim during Warren's trial.

T uesday, Sept. 11, 2012, jurors were shown equally gruesome photos of the crime scene, full of sneaker footprints tracked through Nguyen’s blood and scattered cash. Among the evidence key to the prosecution’s case were bullet fragments pulled from the skull of Nguyen, which prosecutors attempted to link to Warren and a .38 special revolver.

Prosecutor Perry Thomas said Nelson’s plea to aggravated robbery is just the first and the third accomplice could plead the same. 

Nelson was arrested Feb. 11, 2013,  and given a $300,000 bond. 

He pleaded guilty Monday, May 12 to aggravated robbery, taking a plea deal that would cap his sentence at no more than 15 years in state prison, according to Thomas. 

Nelson’s sentencing is set for August 11 in Judge Lindsey Scott’s 252nd Criminal District Court to give prosecutor’s time to bring Warren’s third accomplice in for a possible plea, Thomas said.