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Montevideo American-News
  • Nelson's defense attorney seeks second-degree murder charge

  • A motion has been filed by defense attorney Greg Holm­strom, seeking a reduced charge of second-degree murder for his client, Darek Nelson, of Mont­e­video.
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  • A motion has been filed by defense attorney Greg Holm­strom, seeking a reduced charge of second-degree murder for his client, Darek Nelson, of Mont­e­video.
    Nelson, 25, has been indicted by a grand jury for first degree, premeditated murder in the Jan. 13 fatal stabbing of Vinessa Lozano, Nelson's 18-year-old co-worker at the Montevideo Pizza Ranch restaurant.
    An Omnibus Hearing is scheduled for Friday, Nov. 16, at 9 a.m. in Chippewa County Distict Court in Montevideo.
    At that time, Holmstrom will present to Judge Dwayne Knutsen a motion in which Nelson would plead guilty to second-degree murder.
    The defense also filed a motion to suppress statements Nelson made to law enforcement personnel following his arrest.
    On Oct. 12, Knutsen confirmed that Nelson was mentally competent to stand trial, following psychiatric evaluations to which the defense did not initially file an objection. Nelson is scheduled to be tried for first-degree, premeditated murder on Feb. 25 in Chippewa County Court.
    Chippewa County Attorney Dave Gilbertson said the prosecution will file a motion objecting to a second-degree murder plea and continue to seek a conviction on first-degree murder.
    According to the defense's motion: The defense is requesting that the court accept Darek Jon Nelson's plea of guilty to second-degree murder and second-degree assault, over the objection of the prosecution.
    "The defense is not asking the court to find Aspergers disorder is a defense to the crime of murder. Instead, we are asking the court to find the mental incapacity is a mitigating factor and accept a plea to a lesser offense."
    Asperger's disorder (syndrome) is defined as a developmental disorder that affects a person's ability to socialize and communicate effectively with others.
    For more on this story and others subscribe or pick up a copy of the Montevideo American-News.

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