Update: Assault Case Turned to Murder Charge Going to Trial

By BCHP News

Published 02/01 2014 07:48PM

Updated 05/01 2014 01:58PM

05/01/14 Updated at 1:55 p.m.

24-year-old Michael B. Crowley of Abilene has been indicted by a grand jury.

His case went before a grand jury Thursday morning.

Crowley was charged with murder after a man he allegedly assaulted on January 30 of this year died days later of his injuries at Hendrick Medical Center.

02/04/14 Update

A fight that landed one man in the hospital and another in jail has now turned into a murder case, according to the Abilene Police Department.

Police say 24-year-old Michael B. Crowley of Abilene got into a fight with 47-year-old Lance M. Nickels, also from Abilene, late last Thursday night. Police say Crowley used his hands and feet to assault Nickels, knocking him unconscious. Nickels was taken to Hendrick Medical Center with critical injuries, where he died early Tuesday morning.

Crowley remains in the Taylor County Jail, and is now charged with Murder. His bond is set at $100,000.

Abilene Police Department News Release:

On February 4, 2014, the victim in this investigation, Lance M. Nickels, succumbed to his injuries and died at Hendrick Medical Center at 3:55 a.m. The Abilene Police Department was notified of the death shortly thereafter and Justice of the Peace Sparky Dean responded to the hospital where he certified Mr. Nickels’ death.

Judge Dean ordered an autopsy and the body was later transported to the Tarrant County Medical Examiner’s Office.

The Aggravated Assault charge has been upgraded to the offense of Murder. Crowley remains incarcerated. The bond for the Murder charge was set at $100,000. This is an ongoing investigation.

JANUARY 31, 2014: ABILENE, TX – On January 30, 2014, at about 11:45 p.m., officers with the Abilene Police Department’s (APD) Patrol Division responded to an injured subject call at a residence in the 1200 block of Marshall Street that initially came in to APD via an open phone line. A few minutes later, a second call to APD reported that people were fighting and that a male subject was unconscious and injured.

Officers arrived and located several persons at the residence, including an injured male inside the residence suffering from a serious head injury. Abilene Firefighters also responded to the scene and the victim was taken by ambulance to a local hospital for treatment.

The preliminary investigation revealed that the assault was witnessed and that a known male suspect had fled the scene. Detectives with the Criminal Investigation Division were summoned to the scene to assist with the investigation. The preliminary investigation revealed that two men were involved in a verbal altercation that escalated into physical violence.

The suspect was identified as Michael B. Crowley (DOB: 09-26-89). The victim was a male, age 47, of Abilene.

Information gathered during the investigation later led police officers from several different divisions to a residence in the 3100 block of South 11th Street. Crowley was located at approximately 9:30 a.m. today (January 31st) at the residence and arrested. He was then transported to the Law Enforcement Center for questioning. A search warrant was later executed at this same residence.

The investigation revealed that Crowley assaulted the victim with his hands and feet. Crowley continued to assault the victim even after the victim became unconscious.

Crowley was arrested for the offense of 2nd-degree felony Aggravated Assault (causing serious bodily injury). A magistrate set his bond at $60,000.

The victim is in an intensive care unit receiving care. This investigation will be forwarded to the District Attorney’s Office for their consideration of charges.

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