Attorneys seek more funds in death penalty case

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Attorneys seek more funds in death penalty case

Post  Jennie on Wed Jun 25, 2008 12:00 pm

Attorneys for Brad Nelson requested additional funds for a 2nd mental health expert during a court hearing on Monday.

Nelson, 37, of Golden Valley is charged with 1st-degree murder and molestation of a child. The Mohave County Attorney's Office is seeking the death penalty in the case.

This is the 1st time since 1999 the Mohave County Attorney's Office has decided to seek capital punishment for a crime in the county due to the serious aggregators of the age of the victim and manner of the murder.

Nelson's attorneys, Lee Novak and Rick Williams, also asked about the jury questionnaire in the case. Specifically, that the questionnaire ask jurors about their personal perspective on the death penalty.

Williams said that they were currently working on a draft jury questionnaire to give to the court. The case is set to go to trial in September.

In January, Novak and Williams made a motion to strike the MCAO's intent to ask for the death penalty. They stated that the method of death, lethal injection, was cruel and unusual punishment and therefore unconstitutional.

The MCAO responded that the time was not ripe to strike the intent, as a jury could acquit Nelson of the charges or that there might not be enough information in the case to seek the death penalty in the end.

It also stated that Arizona courts had ruled that the lethal injection method used was not cruel or unusual.

Around the time of the response, the U.S. Supreme Court received a case from Kentucky questioning whether lethal injection could be cruel and unusual punishment.

The Supreme Court ruled that Kentucky's method of lethal injection was not cruel and unusual punishment if it was administered properly. According to court records, Moon waited until the ruling from the Supreme Court was issued before making his own ruling. Arizona has a similar method of lethal injection.

Moon denied Williams' motion on May 19.

On June 9, 2006, Nelson allegedly molested and then killed his 14-year-old niece, Amber Graff in a hotel in the 3200 block of East Andy Devine Avenue.

Kingman Police officers found a rubber mallet believed to be the murder weapon at the scene. An autopsy performed by Mohave County Medical Examiner Dr. Julie Jervis determined Graff died of multiple blunt force traumas to the head.

Graff and her 13-year-old brother were in the care of Nelson while the girl's mother was hospitalized in Kingman Regional Medical Center.

Nelson pleaded not guilty to the charges on July 21 and is being held on a $1 million bond.

(source: Kingman Daily Miner)
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