Crime

Man charged after Godfrey trustee found shot dead in car

Donald M. Nelson, of Alton, was charged in Madison County Court in connection with the shooting death of Godfrey Village Board member Eldon “Twirp” Williams.
Donald M. Nelson, of Alton, was charged in Madison County Court in connection with the shooting death of Godfrey Village Board member Eldon “Twirp” Williams.

An Alton man is facing murder charges in the shooting death of a Godfrey Village Board member on Tuesday.

Donald M. Nelson, 34, was charged with three counts of first-degree murder in Madison County Court on Wednesday, documents from the state’s attorney’s office said.

Eldon “Twirp” Williams was found shot dead Tuesday morning in Alton.

According to the documents, Nelson shot Williams in the head Tuesday morning in the driveway of a home in the 200 block of West Delmar Avenue in Alton. He was attempting to rob Williams, prosecutors say.

Nelson also faces one count of armed robbery, one count of criminal trespassing, one count of armed violence, one count of felony possession of a firearm and one count of felony possession of stolen firearm in connection with the incident.

The trespassing and armed violence charges stem from after the shooting, when Nelson forcibly entered a home in the 900 block of Rosa Avenue and remained there, armed, while residents were inside.

Nelson’s bail was set at $5 million.

According to Madison County Court records, Nelson has several convictions dating back to 2004, including some for burglary and aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. He was out on parole for a 2017 charge for possession of narcotics at the time of Tuesday’s incident.

Williams was 87 at the time of his death. He had served the village since 1957 and spent 38 years as its assessor before retiring in 1997 and becoming a trustee in 1999.

The mayor of Godfrey, Michael McCormick, called him “a great person” on Tuesday and said the community was shocked at his death.

Hana Muslic: 618-239-2626, @h_muslic
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