Faces 25 and up to 75 years to life in state prison
By Scott Alonso, Public Information Officer, Contra Costa County Office of the District Attorney
Yesterday, Monday, April 4, 2021, a Contra Costa County jury found defendant Erick Lamar Nelson (31-year-old resident of Concord) guilty of first-degree murder for the 2016 slaying of his partner 25-year-old Poinsettia Gant-Parks. The victim reported to friends and family members concerns about Nelson and his prior violent actions against her. When the victim was murdered, she was six weeks pregnant.
Nelson will be sentenced on May 7, 2021 before Judge John Cope. Nelson faces 25 years to life for the murder conviction. Due to Nelson’s two prior strikes, which the court found him guilty of yesterday, he could face a total of 75 years to life in state prison.
In May 2016, Nelson used a rock to kill the victim and he stuffed her left hand down her throat. The victim was found in the duck pond at Newhall Park in Concord. Nelson, who was described as 6’1″ and 185 lbs., fled the state and was eventually arrested in Reno, Nevada. (See related article)
Deputy District Attorney Mary Blumberg prosecuted the case on behalf of the People. DDA Blumberg is assigned to our Office’s Homicide Unit. The case was investigated by the Concord Police Department.
“Poinsettia Gant-Parks will forever be remembered for her sincere kindness to everyone she met and her smile that reached from ear to ear and touched so many hearts. This verdict finally brings justice to her family. Erick Nelson brutally took her life; she was merely 25 years old and pregnant at the time that he murdered her. Sadly, this terrible crime and the physical and mental abuse that proceeded it are not limited to Poinsettia Gant-Parks. All too often, women and men are victims of domestic violence. I hope that this verdict will encourage other victims of domestic violence to speak out and seek help. If you or someone you know suffers from domestic partner violence there are many groups in our community that can help you, including, the Family Justice Centers in Antioch, Richmond and Concord,” said DDA Blumberg.
The jury trial began on March 1, 2021 and ended last Friday. The jury began their deliberation on April 2 and concluded today with their verdict. In 2016, our Office filed a criminal complaint against Nelson. In 2017, he had a preliminary hearing, and he was held to answer.
UPDATE: The prior crimes include a felony violation for driving or taking a vehicle without consent. On or about May 23, 2016, in Contra Costa County, Nelson stole a Ford F-250 pickup owned by Joseph Silva. He was also convicted for serious and/or violent felonies of second-degree robbery committed on Sept. 28, 2010 and on Sept. 18, 2007. Filed Information Nelson April 2017
Case information: People v. Erick Lamar Nelson, Docket Number 05-170547-4
Allen Payton contributed to this report.