Mother’s surrender of son to murder charges brings ‘hope for community’

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -- IMPD homicide detectives acknowledged the role a mother played in negotiating her juvenile son’s surrender to face two counts of murder in the killings of teenaged siblings last week.

“She made the decision that she didn’t want any more harm to come him, she didn’t want him to cause any more harm and so she helped us with his surrender,” said IMPD Deputy Chief Craig McCartt. “I will say that certainly the family played a role a positive role in negotiating his surrender.”

Ashylnn Nelson, 15, and Nicholas Nelson, 16, were shot to death in the 4100 block of Windhill Drive in the Postbrook Apartments last Friday morning.

IMPD officers chased a suspect to a nearby neighborhood before losing sight of him.

Later that day detectives released surveillance video photographs that showed a slender young man in a black hoodie approaching the victims’ apartment.

The suspect's mother first spoke with investigators over the weekend and surrendered her son Monday morning.

“The right decision was made for everybody,” said McCartt. “It came to a peaceful resolution, no one else was hurt, and so now we can move on with seeking justice in this particular case.”

The 15-year-old suspect is being held at the Marion County Juvenile Detention Center.

He will face an initial hearing in juvenile court before the Marion County Prosecutors Office determines if it will request a waiver hearing to send his trial to Superior Court.

Donita Royal of Mothers Against Violence said she could empathize with the mother of the suspect.

“I’ve seen the other side of a mother crying where her son or daughter had committed the murder,” said Royal whose own son was murdered six years ago. “By this mother stepping up, this is another hope for our community, by her stepping up and turning her son in that she loves, and battled before she made that decision.”

Both McCartt and Royal hope that the example set by mother of the Windhill Drive murder suspect will encourage other parents and witnesses to come forward and combat violence in the city.

“Some other mom is gonna come forward because you have to do that tough love,” said Royal. “If you’re one of the ones talking about the violence in Indianapolis, Indiana, that’s in our city and everyone don’t understand, you could be a part of the problem, too. Speak on it. Do the tough love. It's gonna benefit in the long run. Your child is gonna be safe in the long run or he’s gonna end up dead too and then you’re gonna be on the other side like the mothers who lost their child to gun violence.”

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