Witness Says Nelson Admitted to Killing Arlington Pastor

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    NEWSLETTERS

    A woman took the stand in Steven Nelson's murder trial and told the jury he admitted to her that he killed Northpointe Baptist Church pastor Clint Dobson. (Published Thursday, Oct 4, 2012)

    A woman testified Thursday that the man accused of killing an Arlington pastor admitted to the slaying.

    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.

    Brittany Bursey testified that she met Nelson on March 3, 2011, the day Dobson was killed. Bursey said her cousin and another friend brought Nelson, who was going by "Romeo," to her apartment.

    She said the group hung out for a while then decided to go get gas and go to the mall. Bursey said she wondered why no one wanted to ride in Nelson's car and was told the vehicle was stolen.

    Bursey said she asked Nelson about the car when they arrived at another friend's apartment. She said he told her the vehicle came from a pastor he had strangled. She said he was nonchalant about the whole story.

    "I didn't know what to think or whether to take him seriously," she testified. "I've never been around anybody who's killed anyone so, from TV, most people just try to keep their mouth closed about it or, if they care about it, just don't say anything. I was more concerned about the stolen car."

    Bursey said under cross-examination that she did not call police after hearing Nelson's story.

    Kelly Belcher, who was a trace examiner for the Tarrant County Medical Examiner's Office at the time of the slaying, also testified Thursday. Belcher recovered materials and photographed anything she found on or with Dobson.

    Belcher said she found a torn plastic bag by Dobson's head and neck. She said someone had tied a black electrical cord to his wrists behind his back. Masking tape was also around both wrists, she said. One of Dobson's wrists had a pink rubber bracelet that said "pastor" on it.

    Nelson appeared engaged while Belcher testified. He looked at whoever was talking and looked at photos on a large projection screen whenever anyone referred to them.

    A photo of a counterfeit Air Jordon shoe and an apparent partial impression of the sole on a church envelope were shown on the screen. Investigators found the shoe in Nelson's home.

    The capital murder trial is expected to last up to two and a half weeks.