Killing of Houston boy, 12, described as 'drug debt'
Quanell X: 'I believe this case is a drug debt'
Quanell X today said that Mona Nelson, accused of the kidnapping-murder of 12-year-old Jonathan Foster, admitted that she had dumped the boy's burned body in a northeast Houston ditch. But, the Houston activist added, the woman had no motive for killing the child.
Quanell X said he attended Nelson's first court appearance today at the request of her family. Nelson, 44, this morning was advised of her rights by 182nd state District Court Judge Jeannine Barr, then remanded to county jail, where she is being held without bail on a capital murder charge.
Barr appointed lawyer Allen Tanner to defend Nelson. Tanner was not immediately available for comment.
"I believe this case is a drug debt," Quanell X said, adding that he based his comments on an earlier interview with Nelson. "I do not believe she had a motive to kill the boy."
The activist said he anticipates further arrests in the case. "I don't believe this case is solved at all," he said, "and I would urge the public not to rush to judgment."
Harris County Assistant District Attorney Connie Spence said she is "satisfied with the investigation by the Houston Police Department. They did an excellent job."
Still, she said, the investigation is continuing, and she is optimistic a crime lab examination of evidence could develop more evidence.
She said she expects to present Nelson's case to a grand jury in "a couple of months."
Foster disappeared from his family home shortly before 2 p.m. on Christmas Eve. His burned body was found near a northeast Houston culvert last Tuesday. Authorities believe he was killed and his body burned elsewhere.
Quanell X said he became involved in the case at Nelson's request. He said Nelson told him the seemingly incriminating burned carpet at her residence had caught fire months ago. "She had called on her landlord to fix it," he said.
Nelson, attired in an orange county jail jumpsuit, quietly listened as Barr apprised of her of her rights. Then, in a low voice, she affirmed that she understood the explanation.
Quanell X, speaking to reporters afterward, said she seemed "weaker physically and mentally."
"I could tell that she was absolutely stressed out," he said. "This has taken its toll."