Jonathan Blake Robertson

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Family of Beaten Benton County Woman Speaks

By Meghan Pinkley
By mpinkley@wbbjtv.com

7 Eyewitness News had an exclusive interview with the family of Bonnie Nelson, the 68-year-old grandmother who investigators said was brutally beaten and robbed. She is now fighting for her life at a Nashville hospital.

Nelson's siblings could barely put into works their emotions and said all their sister ever did was try and take care of her family, and they said to find out her own grandson allegedly planned the whole thing makes them sick.

"I was just shocked with disbelief and just started hysterically screaming," said Sue Webb, Nelson's sister. Benton County deputies said this was a planned assault with theft in mind. "Why they would go to these extremes to rob this elderly lady, I don't know," said Benton County Sheriff Tony King.

The assault is believed to have happened around 2:00 a.m. Friday, officials were not called to Nelson's Big Sandy home until 8:00 a.m. She was found lying in her own blood. Officers said she was attacked by a group of young men. Family members said the worst part was Nelson's own grandson was part of that group.

"He needs help somewhere or another because a man don't do his grandma like that," said Maynard Webb.

Family members said the 16-year-old threw his bloody clothes in a shed behind the house, went inside and took a shower, all before calling 911.

"She was just laying there in that blood all night, just covered in it," said Nelson's brother, Bobby Nelson.

Investigators have recovered most of the stolen items including a TV and credit cards. Jonathan Robertson, 18, and Mitchell Hatch, 22, have been charged with attempted first degree murder and especially aggravated robbery. The 16-year-old family member has also been charged with attempted first degree murder.

"She's still a good christian woman, loving, caring person, would do anything for anybody," added Sue Webb.

Nelson is still in critical condition at Vanderbilt Hospital in Nashville. She is suffering from level four brain trauma. Robertson, Hatch, and the juvenile will be arraigned on Wednesday in Benton County General Sessions Court.
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