FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) – In Fort Worth, jurors heard more damaging testimony about the man they convicted of capital murder Monday for the beating death of an Arlington pastor. 25-year-old Steven Nelson is facing the death penalty. Prosecutors say Nelson is a dangerous man and will remain a threat to others as long as he lives.
A fellow Tarrant County jail inmate today told jurors that he witnessed Nelson torment another inmate that he believed was mentally challenged. The inmate, whose name is not being disclosed at the request of Prosecutors, says Nelson used a blanket to hang Jonathan Holden in his cell earlier this year.
“He reached through the bars and wrapped it around his neck, and the boy let him,” said the unnamed inmate. “He [Nelson] kept asking if the four minutes was up, because that’s how long it took to kill somebody.”
Defense attorneys attempted to discredit the inmate—calling attention to his criminal past, which included convictions for family violence and burglary. But, the Tarrant County Medical examiner’s office ruled Holden’s death a homicide.
According to the inmate’s testimony, after Holden died, Nelson danced. “Like the Chuck Berry dance,” said the inmate, skipping across the floor on one leg and playing an air guitar.
Jurors took just over an hour to find Nelson guilty of murdering Pastor Clint Dobson. Now, they must decide if Nelson should receive the death penalty, or life in prison without parole. Testimony in the punishment phase of the trial is expected to continue for several more days.
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