Grand jury indicts murder suspects on upgraded charges - | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas


Grand jury indicts Nacogdoches murder suspects on upgraded charges

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Erin Belz. (Source: Nacogdoches County Jail.) Erin Belz. (Source: Nacogdoches County Jail.)
Randy Ellinwood. (Source: Nacogdoches County Jail.) Randy Ellinwood. (Source: Nacogdoches County Jail.)

A Nacogdoches County grand jury has indicted a Nacogdoches pair in connection to the death of a man in April. But now both could face the death penalty with an upgraded charge.

Originally charged with first-degree murder following an arrest in April, the grand jury has charged Erin Leann Belz, 26, and Randy Ellinwood, 31, both of Nacogdoches, with capital murder, which carries a minimum sentence of life in prison.

The pair are charged in connection to the death of Gilbert Joseph Thibodeaux, 32.

A call to Nacogdoches County District Attorney Nicole LoStracco for comment on how the grand jury was able to upgrade the charge was not immediately returned Friday afternoon.

Nacogdoches Police arrested them after finding the body of Thibodeaux in the back of a pickup at Walgreen's. Police connected them to the truck and arrested them at a residence in the 300 block of Myrtle Street.

Officers were called the night of April 9 to a suspicious person call at Nacogdoches Floral Company on North Street. The caller said a man and woman were seen dumping something in a dumpster of the business and leaving in a pickup truck. Officers found items with blood on them and began searching for the suspect truck.

According to Sgt. Greg Sowell, it appears Thibodeaux knew the two and went to the Myrtle Street address, where he was assaulted.

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