PENNFIELD TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) - A man is in custody after he allegedly killed a former roommate in Pennfield Township on Tuesday afternoon.
A 911 call about the murder came in around 3:25 p.m., said Calhoun County Sheriff's Department Capt. Matt Saxton.
The caller told dispatchers a friend was at his residence and had said he had just killed someone.
Police then went to the scene of the crime in the 100 block of Sharon Avenue. When no one answered the door of the residence, they entered and found a 51-year-old man dead inside.
The cause of death appears to be blunt force trauma, Capt. Saxton told 24 Hour News 8. The victim was identified as John George.
The suspect is 52-year-old Robert Nelson.
Records show Nelson once shared an address with the victim. Michigan State Police court documents show Nelson was arrested in Calhoun County on Tuesday and is facing a felony homicide charge.
After discovering the murder, police tracked the 911 call to Silver Star Veterans Apartment Complex on Clark Road. That is where they arrested Nelson.
"When he got here he told someone," said Allen Firestine, who also lives at Silver Star. "I think he said, 'I killed somebody.'"
Nelson once lived with the victim on Sharon Avenue, but had been staying with a friend who lives on the second floor of a Silver Star residence.
Silver Star residents told 24 Hour News 8 police came in hard, taking no chances as they took Nelson into custody.
"There were snipers on the roofs and it was like a swarm of police officers," said Firestine.
"He was coming down the hallway to see the other folks, but when he saw the police he backed up and ran back upstairs and barricaded himself in the room," said Bobby Seals, who lives in the apartment complex.
Loretta Rotchwell lives on Sharon Avenue across the street from the victim. She said she often saw people coming and going from the home and had even called Silent Observer to report the suspicious activity, but nothing was done.
On one occasion, she said, she witnessed a violent argument between the victim and someone staying at the home. She said the two men began choking each other on the porch. She said the argument was about a woman.
Though Rotchwell didn't witness the homicide, she said said she could sense something was wrong.
"This morning I went to the grocery store at 9:30 this morning and I seen his dog running loose, and I thought it was strange because he always took care of his dog," said Rotchwell.
Nelson's criminal record contains a conviction of assault with intent to murder and third-degree criminal sexual conduct in the 1980s. He pleaded no contest to an assault in 2005 and guilty to assaulting, resisting and obstructing an officer.
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