On this date, October 16, 2012, Steven Lawayne Nelson, was sentenced to death for the March 3, 2011 murder of Arlington NorthPointe Baptist Church Pastor, Clint Dobson. I will post information about him from murderpedia.
|Steven Lawayne Nelson|
Number of victims: 1
Date of murder: March 3, 2011
Date of arrest: 2 days after
Date of birth: February 18, 1987
Victim profile: Clint Dobson, 28 (pastor of NorthPointe Baptist Church)
Method of murder: Suffocation with a plastic bag
Location: Arlington, Tarrant County, Texas, USA
Status: Sentenced to death on October 16, 2012
Name: Nelson, Steven Lawayne
TDCJ Number: 999576
Date of Birth: 02/18/1987
Date Received: 10/16/2012
Age (when Received): 25
Education Level (Highest Grade Completed): 11
Date of Offense: 03/03/2011
Age (at the time of Offense): 24
Hair Color: Black
Eye Color: Brown
Native County: Pontatoz
Native State: Oklahoma
Prior Prison Record
#1440381 - State jail offense for Theft, discharged upon expiration of sentence on November 5, 2007.
#1550504 - State jail offense for Burglary of a Building, discharged upon expiration of sentence on April 16, 2010.
Summary of Incident
Subject and two codefendants entered the church to rob the victims of their personal items. The pastor had been bound and suffocated with a plastic bag, additionally with blunt force trauma to his head, face, back, shoulder, arms and hands. The female victim had massive head trauma but was alive.
Anthony Gregory Springs and Clifford Jefferson
Race and Gender of Victim
White male Employee
Man who killed Arlington minister says he has multiple personalities
By Dianna Hunt - Star-Telegram.com
October 11, 2012
FORT WORTH -- Convicted killer Steven Lawayne Nelson told a deputy sheriff this week that he has multiple personalities that sometimes emerge and cause trouble.
Tarrant County Deputy John Casey testified Wednesday that Nelson, 25, appeared to change and became uneasy after surreptitiously pulling a so-called "stun cuff" from his leg while he sat in a courthouse holding cell after being convicted of capital murder on Monday.
"He appeared to be more agitated, and he said his other personality had kicked in," Casey testified Wednesday. "He asked to see" a mental health specialist.
Nelson said the personality was known as "Tanker," and he said he needed medication, Casey said.
The deputy's testimony at the end of Wednesday's court session corresponds with previous testimony about Nelson's mental stability. An ex-girlfriend testified that Nelson told her he was schizophrenic; other witnesses said he used names such as Rico and Romeo at different times.
Under questioning from defense attorney Steve Gordon, Casey said that Nelson had been receiving medication to help him get through the trial.
Nelson was convicted Monday in the March 3, 2011, death of Clint Dobson, 28, pastor of NorthPointe Baptist Church in north Arlington. Dobson was beaten, bound and suffocated with a plastic bag during a robbery. Church secretary Judy Elliott was beaten and left for dead but survived.
Ties to inmate's death
The testimony about Nelson's mental health followed hours of testimony Wednesday linking Nelson to the death of mentally ill inmate Johnathan Holden, 30, who was in a Tarrant County jail cell block with Nelson earlier this year.
Another inmate testified that he watched across a commons area as Nelson killed Holden.
The Star-Telegram is not identifying the inmate at the request of state District Judge Mike Thomas, who said the inmate feared retaliation.
The inmate said Nelson was in the commons area for his one hour of recreation each day when he began poking at Holden with a broom handle. He then lured Holden to the front of the cell door and convinced him to place a blanket around his neck to attract guards with a fake suicide attempt.
Instead, Nelson grabbed the blanket and pulled Holden against the bars until he stopped kicking.
Nelson then did a "Chuck Berry" celebration dance using a broomstick as an air guitar, the inmate said.
"I watched the whole thing, from beginning to end," the inmate told jurors. "He was murdered."
"Who murdered him?" asked prosecutor Bob Gill.
"Rico Nelson," the inmate said.
The inmate said he is serving a two-year prison term for family violence, and that he and Holden should not have been in the cell block with Nelson and other accused killers.
Forensics experts testified that Nelson's DNA was found under Holden's fingernails and that the knots tied in the blanket were done from outside the cell door.
Holden's aunt, Sharon Bristow, had been scheduled to testify on Wednesday but said later she was told she wouldn't take the stand because prosecutors didn't want additional media attention.
She said she was disappointed that jurors won't learn that her nephew had family members who loved him and tried to help him. Holden's sister, Jennifer Ciravolo, had been waiting in a private area to hear Bristow testify.
"To the jurors, he's still just an inmate who was there, and to their knowledge, he had nobody who cared," she said. "For us, there's been no closure. We haven't been allowed to grieve. We haven't been allowed to say our good-byes."
According to testimony, Nelson has been a constant troublemaker in jail since he was booked in on March 10, 2011, repeatedly breaking light bulbs, flooding the cells and threatening guards.
He has been indicted on a charge that he assaulted a guard, but he has not been charged in Holden's death.
Prosecutors are seeking a death sentence for Nelson. If the jury declines that penalty, Nelson will automatically be sentenced to life in prison without parole.
To sentence him to death, jurors must believe that there is a probability that Nelson would commit criminal acts of violence that would constitute a continuing threat to society.
Staff writer Mitch Mitchell contributed to this report.
|Steven Lawayne Nelson|
Man convicted of killing Texas pastor to get death penalty
October 16, 2012
A convicted felon was sentenced to death Tuesday for killing a pastor and severely beating the pastor's secretary in their North Texas church.
A jury in Fort Worth deliberated for little more than an hour before deciding the sentence for Steven Lawayne Nelson. The 25-year-old Nelson was convicted of killing the Rev. Clint Dobson at the NorthPointe Baptist Church in nearby Arlington.
Jurors had the option of sentencing Nelson to death or life in prison without parole.
Nelson was convicted last week of suffocating Dobson in March 2011. He also beat the church secretary, Judy Elliott, so severely that she suffered a broken jaw and memory problems. He then he stole her car and other items. It took the jury little more than an hour to convict him.
During closing arguments, prosecutor Page Simpson called Nelson a "predator" who forced Dobson and Elliott to tie each other up. Blood from both victims was found on a pair of Nelson's shoes, and studs from his belt were found at the church, according to testimony.
Nelson denied killing the minister, blaming two friends for the crime. He said he stayed outside and only came into the church to steal a laptop.
He said under cross-examination at trial that he saw the 28-year-old Dobson and his secretary already sprawled on the church floor. He admitted stepping around them to get the laptop, but said they were still alive when he was there.
Prosecutors presented evidence during sentencing that Nelson's criminal career began when he was a teenager and that he had assaulted jailers while in custody. Several jail guards said Nelson broke a jail phone after an upsetting conversation and that it took three guards to restrain him.
Nelson has been charged with assaulting another jailer in October 2011. He is also a suspect in the death of another inmate.
Pastor Clint Dobson
Pastor's killer goes berserk after death sentence
October 16, 2012
Convicted killer Steven Lawayne Nelson was sentenced to death Tuesday for the brutal suffocation death of an Arlington pastor during a robbery inside the church.
But the end of the two-week trial did not mean the end to havoc wreaked by Nelson: Just minutes after being led quietly from the courtroom by sheriff's deputies, Nelson broke a water sprinkler head in his holding cell, flooding the cell and sending black water infused with fire retardant into Criminal District Court #4.
He could be heard screaming and howling from his cell as court personnel scurried to pick up boxes of evidence before they got wet. The smell permeated the courtroom and deputies quickly evacuated bystanders. Firefighters soon arrived to stop the flow of the water from the sprinkler.
The jury in state District Judge Mike Thomas' court deliberated for about 90 minutes before handing the maximum sentence to Nelson, 25, of Arlington.
Nelson was convicted of capital murder last week in the death of Clint Dobson, 28, pastor of NorthPointe Baptist Church in north Arlington. Dobson was beaten, bound and suffocated with a plastic bag during a robbery of the church on March 3, 2011.
Church secretary Judy Elliott was also beaten and left for dead but survived.
Earlier in the day, before the jury began its deliberations, prosecutors Bob Gill and Page Simpson urged jurors to give Nelson the death penalty.
"It's like he wanted to violate the conscience of this community," Gill said during closing arguments Tuesday morning. "If you think he was hell on wheels in the Tarrant County Jail while awaiting trial, think what he'll be like in prison ... with nothing left to lose."
Defense attorneys Bill Ray and Steve Gordon urged jurors to hand down a life sentence, arguing that Nelson was abandoned psychologically as a child and didn't get the help he needed.
"We ask that you spare his life," Gordon said.
Dobson's widow, Laura Dobson, joined Elliott and other friends and family in the courtroom for the jury's decision. Elliott and her father and Dobson's parents addressed Nelson directly by giving victim impact statements after the verdict was announced.
"No one wants to remember you," she told Nelson, "but they will always remember Clint ... I vow to be his voice and carry on his legacy, that good will always trump evil."
Laura Dobson's father, cardiologist Phillip Rozeman from Shreveport, La., told Nelson that the killing of Clint Dobson was "a cosmic collision of good and evil," but he vowed that they would rebuild their lives.
"We know that Clint is in Heaven asking God all the questions he always wanted to ask," he said.
Clint Dobson's parents, Rod and Sharon Dobson, also spoke to Nelson about their son and the good deeds he did for the world.
Sharon Dobson read the epitaph now on her son's grave.
"He was generous of heart, constant of faith and joyful of spirit," she said. "I wish you could have known him."
Nelson's mother and other family members testified on his behalf Monday but did not return to court for the sentencing.