Death Penalty for Arlington Pastor's Killer

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Steven Nelson was sentenced to death in the murder of Arlington Pastor Clint Dobson. (Published Tuesday, Oct 16, 2012)

    Jurors sentenced the man convicted of killing a North Texas pastor to death, then Steven Lawayne Nelson broke a sprinkler head, flooding the courtroom.

    Jurors deliberated the sentence for about an hour and a half Tuesday before sending Nelson to death row for killing Rev. Clint Dobson.

    Pastor's Killer Breaks Sprinkler

    [DFW] Pastor's Killer Breaks Sprinkler
    Steven Nelson broke the sprinkler head in the holding cell after he was sentenced to death for killing Arlington pastor Clint Dobson. (Published Tuesday, Oct 16, 2012)

    During victim impact statements, Dobson's widow took the stand to address her husband's killer.

    "I refuse to let you get the best of me," Laura Dobson said. "No one will remember you, but many people will remember Clint."

    Nelson was taken to a holding cell where he broke the sprinkler head sending dark water into the courtroom. Fort Worth firefighters had to be called out to deal with the broken sprinkler.

    Earlier in the morning, during closing arguments, prosecutors said Nelson deserves the death penalty because his crime was heinous and vicious.

    Prosecutors said Nelson killed Dobson and severely beat a secretary at Arlington's NorthPointe Baptist Church because he wanted to steal a car.

    Prosecutors say Nelson has committed crimes since he was a young teen and has been given many chances to rehabilitate, but his crimes escalated. They say he killed an inmate while jailed before this murder trial.

    Prosecutors also presented evidence that he assaulted jailers, broke sprinkler heads to cause jailhouse flooding, broke the stun belt on his ankle during a break in the capital murder trial and that he was found in possession of razor blades.

    "The facts of this case made it clear that the death penalty was the only viable option," Bob Gill of the District Attorney’s Office said in a news release. "Sparing Steven Nelson would have condemned other future victims."

    Defense attorneys asked jurors to spare Nelson's life. They say he was a neglected child who didn't get the help he needed.