Investigation continues into double murder

Men shot to death in Harmons Hill Road residence
January 21, 2014
Police continue to investigate the double murder on Harmons Hill Road. BY NICK ROTH

Delaware State Police continue to investigate the murder of two men found Jan. 14 in a Harmons Hill Road residence in what officials say is a double homicide.

“We are actively engaged with the investigation, following leads and conducting interviews,” said Sgt. Paul Shavack of the Delaware State Police. “I do not want to jeopardize any of these continued efforts by discussing the investigative details or the release of any information that may compromise the integrity of our efforts.”

William Hopkins, 27, and Cletis T. Nelson, 29, who friends say were from the Milton area, were shot multiple times inside a Harmons Hill Road residence, police say.

A relative of Nelson's went to the residence and found the bodies after no one had heard from Nelson, Shavack said. The two bodies were taken to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, who determined the men died in a double homicide resulting from “multiple gunshot wounds to the upper body.”

Neighbors living next to the rented home heard no gunshots the night before or during the days leading up to when the bodies were found.

“It's been quiet,” said Beth Suydam, who lives next door. “We hadn't heard anything.”

After preliminary investigation, Shavack said police do not believe the double murder was a random act.

Property owner, Julie Ellis-Hall of Lewes, said she knew nothing about the two men found dead in her rental property. She said she was renting to a different man; she didn't know whether Hopkins or Nelson were living in the residence. She describes her tenant as a nice guy who was installing a new floor. She also said he may have run into some recent trouble.

On Nelson's Facebook page, Nelson wrote how happy he was to be out of jail on Christmas Eve. Hopkins had been released September 2013, according to court records.

Teresa Houchens last spoke to her cousin, Nelson, on his birthday, Jan. 8. "Who would have thought it was the last conversation I would have with him?" she said. "My cousin did his six years and came home to do the right thing for himself and his child. He did not deserve this."

She said Nelson called her at 1:12 p.m. Jan. 12, but she didn't answer; she tried to call him back Monday, but the call went straight to voicemail.

William Hopkins, she said, has two kids in Louisiana. Speaking of the two victims, she said, "This could have been the year that they turned it around and did the right thing. They were both working hard for their kids."

Gina Mitch, a friend of Nelson's, said he completed his GED while in prison, and he had talked about taking college courses.

Anyone with information is asked to call Det. Fred Chambers at 388-0196, call 1-800-TIP-3333, go to, text 274637 using keyword DSP or download an app at

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