Aggravated robbery suspect admitted to state hospital, doctors d - KLTV.com-Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville, Texas | ETX News

Aggravated robbery suspect admitted to state hospital, doctors determining if he can stand trial

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Earnest Tate Nelson. (Source: Rusk County Sheriff's Office) Earnest Tate Nelson. (Source: Rusk County Sheriff's Office)

The Rusk County Sheriff's Office confirms Tate Earnest Nelson has been admitted to Vernon State Hospital where he is being evaluated to see if he can stand trial. 

Nelson was charged with aggravated robbery with serious bodily injury, a first degree felony, back in February of 2012.

KLTV spoke to the victim, Precious French, back in May of last year. French said she had been friends with Nelson for about 10 years, so she did not think twice about giving him a ride home when he asked. 

However, French said when they were in the car, she sensed something was wrong. 

"You know how you can feel somebody staring at you? So I turned, and when I turned, he grabbed my neck and started choking me. I was like, 'Tate, Tate, what are you doing? Let go! Let go!'" French said in an exclusive interview in May 2012. 

French said she tried to fight back, but it was no use.

"I felt my hands getting numb, so I was like, 'Precious, just pass out, maybe he'll leave you alone.' So, I passed out and then I woke up in a ditch," she told KLTV in that interview.

While French was unconscious, Nelson reportedly went to find help.....but not for Precious. Authorities say he wanted help hiding her lifeless body. That's when authorities said Nelson found Chris Craver.

"He said Chris, 'I done knocked this girl out and I killed her. Would you help me load her up and put her in my trunk?'" Craver explained. 

While Nelson was away, French gained consciousness and crawled to a nearby home.

"As I'm laying on her step, he comes back and he stomps me. He actually stomps me in my head six or seven times and tries to snap my neck," Precious said. 

Nelson reportedly took off in French's car when the homeowner came to the door.

"Her face was swollen up, her eyes were swollen up, she had some blood coming from her," said homeowner, Tracey Hayes. 

Hayes called 911. Authorities tracked the GPS on French's cell phone, which was left in her car.
That led them on a high speed chase, ending with spike strips and Nelson's arrest.

Rusk County officials said Vernon was booked into jail on May 8, 2012 and admitted to Vernon State Hospital on August 2013.

Sheriff officials said as soon as he is released from the hospital, he will return to the Rusk County Jail. 

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