• Man accused of killing caregiver competent to stand trial, judge rules

    By: Kelly Healey


    ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. - A judge ruled Wednesday afternoon that a man accused of killing an Altamonte Springs woman is competent to stand trial.


    Scott Nelson refused to show up to a competency hearing Wednesday, but Judge Keith White ordered Nelson to appear in court.


    Late Wednesday morning, Nelson was escorted into the courtroom.


    Police said Nelson kidnapped and killed caregiver Jennifer Fulford outside her employer's Winter Park home in September 2017.


    Three days after she disappeared, her body was found by an Orange County Sheriff’s Office helicopter in a wooded area near Fenton Street in Orange County.


    Earlier this year, Nelson sent a letter to the judge that said he was competent to stand trial, but his lawyer disagreed.


    A doctor testified by phone Wednesday that Nelson suffered multiple head injuries.

    "(What) we see in the neurological testing of Mr. Nelson is a decline in his ability to use his brain effectively," said Dr. George Woods, who evaluated Nelson. "You see a real decline in his cognition."


    On Wednesday afternoon, prosecutors had a doctor testify that Nelson does not have a mental illness and he understood everything about the proceedings during an evaluation.


    Once White ruled that Nelson was competent to stand trial, Nelson said he would like his case to go to trial as soon as possible.


    A status hearing is scheduled for 9 a.m. Thursday.


    Nelson remains in prison on charges of first-degree murder, kidnapping with a weapon, burglary and carjacking, among other charges.


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