orangeleader.com (Orange, Texas)

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October 16, 2012

Jurors deciding sentence for Texas pastor's killer

FORT WORTH, Texas —  

Jurors have started deliberating whether a man convicted of killing a North Texas pastor should be sentenced to death or life in prison without parole.

During closing arguments Tuesday, prosecutors said Steven Lawayne Nelson deserves the death penalty because his crime was heinous and vicious. Prosecutors said Nelson killed the Rev. Clint 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.

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

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