ALPINE TOWNSHIP. Mich. (WOOD) - The ex-girlfriend of a man, who is accused of beating his cousin to death last week, says she never knew the suspect to be violent.
Kyle Wilson, 23, was arrested Sept. 14 and interviewed by authorities, who say he confessed to the homicide of Brandon Nelson, 33.
Sheriff's deputies were dispatched Sept. 13 on reports of a suspicious death at an apartment located at 3847 Yorkland Dr. NW in Alpine Township. Nelson was found dead after reportedly suffering blunt force trauma, officials said.
Wilson was convicted of killing a teenager in November 2007 but served only a few years in prison after striking a deal with the Barry County Prosecutor's Office at the time.
Shae Clark and Wilson have a daughter together. Clark said she dated Wilson for more than a year and was shocked by the allegations against him given the relationship Wilson had with the victim.
"It really surprised me because as far as I knew they were really close," Clark said. "They were like brothers. Kyle used to tell me all the time how much Brandon was there for him and how much he felt like he needed to be there for him. Now Brandon's dead and Kyle's the one that did it. ...It's upsetting that my daughter isn't gonna know her dad and she's only going to know him as a killer. "
The Kent County Prosecutor's Office authorized one count of open murder against Wilson.
Wilson was arraigned Monday on the murder charge. He was charged as a habitual offender and held without bond. He told the magistrate he had been living with his cousin for about nine months.
Wilson and Nelson had been living together at the residence where Nelson's body was found, police said.
Target 8 discovered that Wilson is a convicted killer who struck a plea deal after a teenager's death six years ago. Wilson, who was 17 at the time, pleaded guilty to stabbing 15-year-old Jordon Nink.
Wilson claimed the killing was in self-defense. The deal with the Barry County Prosecutor's Office sentenced Wilson up to 15 years in prison. Wilson served only a few years and was released.
Some of Wilson's friends told 24 Hour News 8 he was on parole for a time. He was discharged completely from the Michigan Department of Corrections in April.
Wilson is expected back in court Sept. 30 for a preliminary hearing, at which point a judge will decide if there is enough evidence to send the Nelson case to trial.
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