FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) – Steven Lawayne Nelson, the man accused of the suffocation death of an Arlington pastor and the beating of his assistant, took the stand Friday in his own murder trial.
Nelson claims he didn’t kill anyone, that he didn’t know anyone had died until he was told later. But he did admit that he and two friends planned to ‘hit a lick’ as he put it – to rob anyone they found. “When I first came in there they was alive because the male was talking to the female,” Nelson testified.
He claimed it was two friends who first went into a building he did not even recognize as a church.
In response to his attorney’s questions, he said after 25-minutes one friend took him back into an inner office where he saw a man and woman on the floor. “I asked him what happened, because there was blood on the back of their heads.
Defense attorney Steve Gordon asked, “What did he say?” Nelson replied, “He said he used a computer monitor.” Nelson testified he then proceeded to take a laptop computer and case, but on returning to the office later the man was unresponsive. “Then when I came back in he was on his back with his mouth open.”
That man was Clint Dobson, the pastor at NorthPointe Baptist Church in North Arlington. Testimony shows he was beaten, bound and suffocated.
Dobson’s assistant, Judy Elliot, was nearly beaten to death.
Nelson denied killing anyone. “Do you have any remorse for the family?” Gordon asked. “Yes, sir, I really do,” Nelson replied, “because I wouldn’t want that to happen to one of my family members or for anybody.”
Nelson admits taking Elliot’s car and her credit cards. Previous testimony showed he used them after the crime, and that he sold Dobson’s laptop.
Prosecutors argued he as much as admitted committing the murder in text messages. Bob Gill hammered him on his indifference to his suffering victims. Gill also questioned Nelson’s claim that Nelson didn’t know he was at a church.
The attorney also asked Nelson to show some of his tattoos, including dollar signs tattooed on Nelson’s eyelids.
Nelson also denied owning a belt which had parts left at the crime scene. Prosecutors are asking for the death penalty. The jury is set to get the case on Monday.