Mom gets 84 years for killing 5-year-old daughter

AURORA, CO – A mother from Colorado, Alexus Tanielle Nelson, 28, was sentenced to 84 years in prison on June 12 for the gruesome murder of her 5-year-old daughter, Maha Li Hobbs, in 2023. Nelson pleaded guilty to second-degree murder, tampering with a deceased body, and attempting to influence a public servant.

Police responded to a welfare check at Nelson’s residence in the 1000 block of S. Elkhart Street after Nelson’s mother reported concerning text messages from her. Nelson’s mother had not seen or heard from her granddaughter in roughly 3 weeks. Upon the first check, Nelson claimed she had placed her daughter up for adoption. When the adoption agency Nelson referred to denied involvement with her or the child, police returned to the residence.

During the follow-up inspection, officers detected the smell of a decomposing body from a utility closet. The horrific discovery of the charred remains of Nelson’s daughter inside a bag, as well as bone fragments in ashes inside Nelson’s fireplace, ensued.

As part of her guilty plea, Nelson forfeits the right to a future appeal of her case. The plea agreement spared Maha Li’s relatives from having to hear potentially traumatic and grisly details during the trial.

District Attorney John Kellner deplored Nelson’s actions, saying she could have chosen legal adoption programs instead of committing murder.

Senior Deputy DA Kathleen Tierney echoed his sentiments, stating that the availability of resources and legal means for parents to give up custody of their children make the horrifying choice of murder both heartbreaking and appalling.