Judge finds probable cause for man charged with killing girlfriend

Sylvis Brandon Nelson
Sylvis Brandon Nelson(KWQC)
Updated: May. 7, 2021 at 11:56 AM CDT
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DAVENPORT, Iowa (KWQC) - A judge on Friday ruled there is enough probable cause to try a Davenport man accused of killing his girlfriend in the couple’s home in March.

Judge Korie Talkington made the determination during a short virtual preliminary hearing for Sylvis Brandon Nelson, 35, in Scott County District Court. He is charged with one count of first-degree murder in the death of Cobrianda Anderson, 34.

Nelson will be arraigned on May 27. He remained in the Scott County Jail on a $1 million cash-only bond.

Davenport police responded around 12:10 p.m. March 24 to a home in the 1900 block of West First Street for a report of an unresponsive woman. The woman, identified as Anderson, was dead when they arrived.

Detective Murphy Simms testified Friday that Nelson told first responders that she had suffered an asthma attack.

Simms said Anderson had injuries that were inconsistent with an asthma attack. Those injuries included heavy bruising to her face, neck, and throat, bruises on her arms and legs, and “several very prominent and pronounced” bite marks on her arms.

The detective said he believed the injuries were fresh.

Simms testified that Nelson told police he and Anderson were having issues regarding where they both were at the night before, which was her birthday, and that he stayed away from their home.

Nelson told detectives he knew he had to go home eventually and that there would be an argument as they were both upset with each other, Simms testified.

He said he went home after Anderson dropped off their children at school and returned home. Nelson said the two began to argue, and that argument “excited” Anderson so much that she began to have an asthma attack, Simms testified.

An autopsy determined Anderson’s cause of death was strangulation and blunt-force injuries to the head, Simms said.

“The victim was willfully and deliberately strangled during this incident,” Simms testified. “This was not only proven by the autopsy conducted, but also I noted previously that she had injuries that were consistent with that, to include bruising around her throat and neck. Strangulation ultimately cuts off a person’s airway and blood flow to the brain, which ultimately resulted in the victim’s death.”

When questioned by defense attorney Michael Motto, Simms said Nelson denied there was a physical fight between him and Anderson.

Nelson was arrested in late April.

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