School teacher Tonya Johnson was eight months pregnant. From the looks of it, her boyfriend Tarence Nelson didn’t want to have the baby. Deputies in Shelby County, Tennessee say the couple was arguing over whether she should get an abortion. But Nelson made the final call when police say he shot both mother and unborn child.
Tonya’s neighbor John Ingram felt something was wrong when her garage door was still open at 10 p.m. at her home in Arlington, Tennessee. He’d noticed a man leave earlier, so he went to check on the pregnant woman. His wife looked through a window and saw Tonya bloody on the floor.
Ingram says it was hard to tell due to all the blood, but he believes Tonya was shot once in the head and once in the chest. He’s also sure of Nelson’s motive in not wanting to be a new father. Tonya was shot once in the side of the stomach, Ingram says…
was a bullet wound in the side of her stomach, one in her chest, one it
looked to be in the back of her head,” Ingram told WMC-TV in Memphis. “There was so much blood you
said ‘Roll her over and start CPR.’ We rolled her over and she was
bleeding out of her mouth, just everywhere. My son-in-law and another
neighbor started CPR.”
Shelby County deputies and a helicopter soon arrived, but it was too late to save mom and child.
Nelson, who has a previous arrest for theft, was arrested in Murfreesboro, a suburb of Nashville. He’s now been charged with double homicide.
On his MySpace page, a darkened shot shows him posing in classic wanna-be gangster style, with a white T and gun pointed at the camera. There are also pictures of him boating and around the house, but the site is devoid of personal information.
UPDATE: Lawyer Leslie Ballin says police don’t have much evidence that Tarance Nelson killed his girlfriend.
“It alleges, and I’m paraphrasing,
that he was in the area at the time of the homicide, that there was a
vehicle seen parked at his home, and that a person matching his
description was seen going from the home to the car,” Ballin told WLBT-TV in Memphis.
Detectives also say there was a call from Tonya to Nelson’s phone number prior to the murder. Cell phone records also show that Nelson was close to her home when the slaying occurred. But none of this is enough to point to him as the killer, says Ballin.
“If that’s what the proof is, that doesn’t add up to a homicide charge to me.”