Police announced charges early this morning against four men, including the victim's teenage son, in connection with the slaying of a 55-year-old Arlington Heights man found dead in his home Thursday morning.
Charged with first-degree murder and armed robbery is Mathew G. Nellessen, 19, of the 1000 block of North Wilshire Lane in Arlington Heights. Police arrested Nellessen Thursday after he led officers from multiple police departments on a chase that began near Harper College in Palatine and continued through several suburbs before ending with his capture in East Dundee.
Also facing charges of first-degree murder and armed robbery are Marlon L. Green, 20, of the 4000 block of South St. Lawrence in Chicago; Armon Braden, 20, of the 700 block of East 83rd Street in Chicago; and Azari M. Braden, 19, of the 2000 block of South Michigan Avenue in Chicago.
Police said that after a lengthy investigation they determined Mathew Nellessen crafted a plan with the others to rob his father, George W. Nellessen, and that his father was murdered during the robbery. Police were not immediately disclosing how Mathew Nellessen was connected with the three Chicago men.
The charges come nearly three days after Arlington Heights police and fire personnel responded to Nellessen's home after receiving a 911 call about an adult male in the home who was presumed deceased. The victim was later identified as George Nellessen.
An autopsy conducted Friday by the Cook County Medical Examiner's Office determined Nellessen, a 55-year-old widower, had suffered head and neck trauma, and the cause of death was listed as homicide.
The 911 caller also reported that a family member of the victim abruptly left the home and drove away. After a description of the man and vehicle was broadcast over police radio, a Schaumburg police officer spotted the car on Algonquin Road and attempted to make a traffic stop.
The driver, now identified as Mathew Nellessen, refused to stop, leading to the chase that sped through Palatine, Hoffman Estates, South Barrington and Barrington Hills before coming to an end when his car sustained tire damage in East Dundee, police said.
Cook County court records indicate George Nellessen and his son had experienced a troubled relationship in the recent past. Documents show George Nellessen was arrested in July 2010 on a misdemeanor domestic battery charge that listed his son as the complaining witness. The charge was dismissed later that month when, records show, Mathew Nellessen failed to appear in court for the case.
Mathew Nellessen's criminal history includes arrests for possession of cannabis, residential burglary and deceptive practices.
In the 2009 residential burglary case, records show, Nellessen pleaded guilty and initially was sentenced to the state's Impact Incarceration boot camp program. He was dismissed from the boot camp, however, and ordered into Treatment Alternatives for Safe Communities, a probation program for defendants with drug, alcohol or mental health issues. He had been scheduled to return to court April 22 on that matter.
Records show he also was sentenced to 15 days in the Cook County jail in May 2010 after violating a court supervision sentence for deceptive practices.
A neighbor on Sunday said Mathew Nellessen was always nice and polite to her, but she was aware of some of his criminal issues.
"The son has been in trouble before," Dolores Seibert said. "He got in with a bad crowd. I have nothing to say against him, personally."
Seibert said Mathew Nellessen, who has an older sister attending college in Alabama, had attended both Prospect and St. Viator high schools. His mother, Laura, died in 2004, she said.
George Nellessen, Seibert said, worked as a machinist and had lived in the Wilshire Lane home for about 20 years.
All four suspects are scheduled to appear in court Monday morning for a bond hearing. A conviction for first-degree murder normally is punishable by 20 to 60 years in prison, but the sentence could be extended to natural life depending on the circumstances alleged.
• Daily Herald staff writers Steve Zalusky and Barbara Vitello contributed to this report.