Prosecutor won't seek death penalty for Nacogdoches pair - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

Prosecutor won't seek death penalty for Nacogdoches pair

Erin Belz. (Source: Nacogdoches County Jail.) Erin Belz. (Source: Nacogdoches County Jail.)
Randy Ellinwood. (Source: Nacogdoches County Jail.) Randy Ellinwood. (Source: Nacogdoches County Jail.)
NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) -

Prosecutors will not seek the death penalty for two Nacogdoches residents who are charged with capital murder in the April death of a Nacogdoches man.

Originally charged with first-degree murder, a grand jury indicted Erin Leann Belz, 26, and Randy Ellinwood, 31, on new capital murder charges last week. They are charged in connection to the death of Gilbert Joseph Thibodeaux, 32.

Nacogdoches County District Attorney Nicole LoStracco said she could not comment on how the grand jury was able to upgrade the charge and instead referred to the indictment, which is not yet available in the district clerk's office.

"I can tell you it fell under the law for a grand jury charge," LoStracco said.

LoStracco said her office would not pursue the death penalty for either defendant, meaning that they face a life sentence if convicted of the charge.

Nacogdoches Police arrested them after finding the body of Thibodeaux in the back of a pickup at Walgreen's on April 9. 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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