Man Accused of Killing Arlington Pastor Testifies

Nelson took stand after attorney tried to talk him out of it

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    NEWSLETTERS

    The man accused of killing an Arlington pastor took the stand Friday at his capital murder trial. (Published Friday, Oct 5, 2012)

    The man accused of killing an Arlington pastor took the stand Friday at his capital murder trial.

    Steven Nelson is charged with capital murder in the killing of Clint Dobson in March 2011 at NorthPointe Baptist Church during a robbery. Nelson also allegedly beat Judy Elliott, the church secretary.

    One of Nelson's attorneys appeared to try to talk Nelson out of testifying.

    Nelson testified that he did not hurt anyone.

    "I feel bad, because I really didn't know who the person was until A.G. was looking on the Internet on the news and said it was a pastor," he said.

    Nelson said his job was to watch crews working on a house across the street while two of his friends went into a white building to rob the people inside. Nelson said he did not realize the building was a church.

    Nelson testified that he saw a man and woman both bleeding when his friend A.G. told him to come inside. He said his friends told him they used a computer to assault them.

    Nelson said he grabbed a laptop and laptop bag and his friend A.G. gave him car keys and credit cards belonging to one of the victims. They left and went to the mall, where Nelson bought shoes, clothes and jewelry with the stolen credit cards.

    Tarrant County Medical Examiner Nizam Peerwani testified that Dobson fought back during a violent struggle. Peerwani said Dobson likely was knocked out by blows to the head before he was suffocated.

    Prosecutors read some text messages from Nelson's cellphone soon after the slaying. The defense objected, but the judge allowed prosecutors to submit the tests as evidence.

    The texts said, "I got a car," "I need to meet you," "It might be the last time I see you," "I did some (expletive)," "I (expletive) up bad, real bad."

    Closing arguments begin Monday morning.