• Penalty phase: Brother of convicted caregiver killer testifies about childhood, abuse

    By: Sarah Wilson

    Updated:

    ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. - The penalty phase continued Tuesday after a man was convicted of kidnapping and killing a Winter Park caregiver.

    Jury members have yet to decide whether Scott Nelson will face life in prison or the death penalty for killing Jennifer Fulford in 2017.

    The jury convicted Scott Nelson of first-degree murder, kidnapping, carjacking and robbery last week.

    Nelson’s brother, James Nelson, testified Tuesday during the penalty phase about their brother’s childhood and their abusive father.

    "He would call us derogatory names and make fun of us. With my mother, if somebody was there and someone said something, he would say, 'Don't pay attention to her, she's stupid. She doesn't know what she's talking about,'" James Nelson said.

    James Nelson also talked about their mother, who he said was mentally ill.

    A doctor took the stand to explain to the jury that Nelson has problems with executive reasoning after examining his brain and finding a frontal lobe injury.

     

    "I'm not comparing Mr. Nelson to the Alzheimer's patients I see," said Psychologist Robert Ouaou. "But that's similar to what we see in people with Alzheimer's. The same part of the brain is affected." 

     

    A jury member was excused Monday after another juror claimed he said they should stop the trial because he won’t vote for the death penalty.  

    Technical issues derailed some of Monday's testimonies that were supposed to take place over Skype, so the judge sent the jurors home.

    Scott Nelson admitted to the crimes on the stand during last week's trial. Nelson testified last that he "wasn’t planning on killing" Fulford.

    READ: Man found guilty of murdering, kidnapping, carjacking and robbing Winter Park nanny

    The courtroom fell silent Monday when Fulford's husband, Robert Fulford, took the stand.

    "We all know how Jenny died, but I'd like to share a little about how she lived," Robert Fulford said, later showing pictures of him an his wife.

    A medical examiner later took the stand to tell the jury that it took Jennifer Fulford five minutes to bleed to death.

    Scott Nelson's attorneys presented evidence Monday to try to keep him off death row.

    Lawyers spent the morning telling the jury about all the people who have been mean to Scott Nelson throughout his life and how it affected him mentally. 

    READ: Detective: Accused killer gave clues in Winter Park caregiver's death

    Prosecutors said they will discount a mental illness diagnosis.

    A death sentence requires a unanimous decision by the jury.

     



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