Son, 3 others charged in Arlington Heights murder, robbery

  • A 55-year-old Arlington Heights man was killed in his home last week by four men, including his own son, who had hatched a plot to rob him, according to charges announced by police early Sunday morning.

      A 55-year-old Arlington Heights man was killed in his home last week by four men, including his own son, who had hatched a plot to rob him, according to charges announced by police early Sunday morning. JOE LEWNARD | Staff Photographer

  • Armon Braden

    Armon Braden

  • Azari Braden

    Azari Braden

  • Marlon Green

    Marlon Green

  • Mathew Nellesen

    Mathew Nellesen

Updated 4/18/2011 2:49 PM

A 19-year-old Arlington Heights man and three Chicago residents are scheduled to appear in court Monday on charges they killed his father last week during a robbery.

Mathew G. Nellessen, of the 1000 block of North Wilshire Lane, faces charges of first-degree murder and armed robbery stemming from the discovery of his father, George Nellessen, dead in their home Thursday morning.


Police arrested Nellessen later 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 charged with 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 55-year-old father, who was killed during the robbery. Police were not immediately disclosing how Mathew Nellessen was connected with the three Chicago men, or how they believe the murder occurred.

An autopsy conducted Friday by the Cook County Medical Examiner's Office determined Nellessen, a widower, had suffered head and neck trauma, and the cause of death was listed as homicide.

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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 dead.

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.

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 complainant. 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 marijuana possession, 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.

"He was a really nice man, and he was a caring father," neighbor Angela Uva added. "He tried everything for them."

She said Mathew was deeply affected by the death of his mother.

"That's where the problem started. He missed his mom, he missed the caring of the mother," Uva said. "He was a nice boy before. But then I think maybe he got the wrong friends."

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 writer Barbara Vitello contributed to this report.

Charged: Police say son conceived plan to rob his father