We write about quite a handful of things but usually, we profile celebrities across different industries: entertainment, sports, , politics among others. Other times we do something different.
One of the stories that catch the attention of readers most often than not is crime stories. On today’s episode of “Celebrity Watch”, we take a look at how a Florida man, Scott Edward Nelson kidnapped and killed the nanny he employed, 56-year-old Jennifer Fulford.
Before killing Jennifer Fulford, Scott Edward Nelson also stole $300 from her account which was later discovered to be a joint account which she shared with her husband.
How did Scott Edward Nelson kill Jennifer Fulford?
Scott Edward Nelson, 55, was convicted of first-degree murder if Jennifer Fulford. Later, he was condemned to life in jail without the possibility of parole.
Nelson allegedly pushed his way into a Winter Park residence in September 2017, according to prosecutors. Jennifer Lynn Fulford, 56, was handcuffed and placed in the trunk of her own automobile. He stole $300 from her account by using an ATM. Nelson allegedly stabbed Fulford multiple times in a deserted area outside of Orlando, according to investigators.
Jennifer Fulford’s employer reported her missing on September 27, 2017. Jennifer Fulford’s employer, who employed her as a nanny six or seven years ago, was notified after she forgot to bring up the child she was responsible for from school. Her cell phone, wallet, and electronic tablet were all missing from her purse, which was discovered in her employer’s restroom. Her gray Hyundai SUV from 2015 was also missing.
A unusual $300 withdrawal from Jennifer Fulford’s bank account, which she shared with her husband, was the next hint. A white male with spectacles and a ponytail was photographed performing the transaction by an ATM surveillance camera. Scott Edward Nelson, a convicted felon on federal probation for armed robbery, was identified by a probation officer.
Later that afternoon, Nelson’s image was captured on bank surveillance. Nelson looked to have changed clothes and had new scratches on his hands during the second attempt to extract monies.
How did Jennifer Fulford die?
Investigators recovered JenniferFulford’s body in a thickly wooded location in Southwest Orange County, Florida, three days after she vanishes. According to the Warrant Arrest Affidavit, her wrists and ankles were bound, and her face was covered with duct tape.
Jennifer Fulford died of stab wounds and suffocation, according to the medical examiner. Nelson was arrested 141 miles away in Jacksonville, Florida, on October 1, 2017. The 53-year-old Vermont homeless man was later charged with murder, kidnapping, home burglary, carjacking, robbery, and interfering with a witness to a felony. Prosecutors filed for the death penalty in the case after Nelson was accused of killing to cover up a robbery.
Scott Edward Nelson admitted to killing Jennifer Fulford, but claimed that his federal probation officer was to blame for her death.
Nelson said that the police caused him to lose his job, which led to him becoming homeless and deciding to rob a house for money on the witness stand in his murder trial.
“Jennifer Lynn Fulford would be alive today had it not been for” the probation officer, Nelson told jurors”
Scott Edward Nelson Crime History
The following is a timeline of the most important events in this case. The dates noted with an asterisk are approximate.
According to an article by the Daytona Beach News-Journal, Nelson was sentenced to a 15-year prison term for kidnapping his own father, taking him to a bank in Vermont, and forcing his father to withdraw $10,000. Nelson reportedly ran an ad in the local paper apologizing for his “‘heinous act’ and calling it a ‘family matter that obviously went out of control.’”
November 26: Nelson released from federal prison. Takes bus to Daytona.
- December 7
Nelson robs a Wachovia Bank in Daytona, Florida. According to the FBI, Nelson handed the teller a five-page note demanding all the paper money and threatening to bomb the building. The device he left behind was fake, but the threat led to lock-downs and evacuations of a nearby hospital and school. Nelson fled with a large amount of money before being captured.
February 18: Nelson pleads guilty to robbery with a dangerous weapon of the Daytona, Florida bank on December 7, 2010. He faced 25 years in federal prison.
A judge sentences Nelson to 87 months (7.5) years in federal prison.
May 15: Nelson is released from federal prison in mid-May.
- September 27
Jennifer Fulford reported missing at approximately 6:25pm. Fulford had not picked up the child she was a nanny for at 3:30pm.
- September 28
Police find Fulford’s vehicle, a 2015 gray Hyundai SUV, abandoned in a Publix parking lot in Orlando.
- September 29
Crime scene technicians process Fulford’s car and find a beer bottle, man’s watch, and blood-stained items.
State files warrant for Nelson’s arrest for grand theft, theft of a credit card, unlawful use of a credit card, and two counts of criminal use of personal identity information.
- September 30
Fulford’s body found in the woods at approximately 1pm. The body was “in an extensive state of decomposition with obvious signs of foul play.”
- October 1
Nelson arrested by U.S. Marshals near an Amtrak train station in Jacksonville, Florida.Nelson is held in federal custody for violating the conditions of his probation for the 2010 bank robbery.
- November 1
Nelson mails a letter from the Federal Detention Center in Miami to a detective with the Orlando Police Department requesting to speak about the investigation.
- November 13
Detective Ferrara with the Orlando Police Dept. meets with Nelson in prison. Police say Nelson confessed to the details surrounding Fulford’s murder.
- December 5
State issues a warrant for Nelson on the charges of first-degree murder; kidnapping with a weapon; burglary of a dwelling with an assault/battery with a weapon; carjacking with a deadly weapon; robbery with a deadly weapon; and tampering with a witness to hinder communication to a law enforcement officer.
- December 12
Grand jury delivers true bill indicting Nelson on five of the above counts, but not including the tampering with a witness charge. According to the court’s docket, that remaining charge is transferred.
State Attorney’s Office files “no information notice” deeming the grand theft, credit card theft, and identity theft charges initially made against Nelson “not suitable for prosecution.” This case is closed while the murder, robbery, burglary and carjacking charges remain pending.
- April 27
Nelson writes letter to judge from jail describing problematic treatment in jail and requesting a “high calorie diet.” Nelson claims he has lost 40 pounds while incarcerated. Most alarming, Nelson also promises to deliver information on 8 unsolved homicides in exchange for more food. “I’ve never been caught for this” he writes in a handwritten note filed on the court’s docket.
- May 27
Defense confidentially files Notice of Incompetency on behalf of Nelson. This filing pauses the clock on the “speedy trial” deadline.
- October 26
Nelson undergoes psychiatric/psychological evaluation, according to court docket.
Court orders Nelson competent to stand trial. Per the order, “this court does not believe that the Defense has met its burden of proof that Nelson is not competent to proceed.”
Speedy trial deadline clock begins again.
June 6: Court orders the jail to transport Nelson to all upcoming hearings willingly or by any “reasonable means necessary, including reasonable force.”
June 7: State informs court its plea offer to Nelson was rejected by the defendant.
June 10: Jury selection begins in death penalty case against Nelson.
June 28: A jury find Scott Nelson Guilty of all charges.
July 11: Jury does not recommend death penalty, instead Nelson is sentenced to life in prison without parole.
The following is a timeline of the case’s most significant events. Dates marked with an asterisk are estimates.
Nelson was sentenced to 15 years in jail for kidnapping his own father, transporting him to a bank in Vermont, and forcing him to withdraw $10,000, according to the Daytona Beach News-Journal. Nelson is said to have placed an ad in the local paper apologizing for his “‘heinous act,'” claiming it was a “family situation that plainly went out of control.”
Nelson was released from federal prison on November 26. Takes the bus to Daytona Beach.
Nelson robs a Wachovia Bank in Daytona, Florida on December 7. Nelson allegedly handed the teller a five-page note demanding all of the paper money and threatening to blow the building, according to the FBI. Despite the fact that the device he left behind was a hoax, the threat prompted lockdowns and evacuations at a neighboring hospital and school. Before being apprehended, Nelson fled with a big sum of money.
Nelson pleads guilty on February 18 to robbing a Daytona, Florida bank with a deadly weapon on December 7, 2010. He risked a federal prison sentence of 25 years.
Nelson is sentenced to 87 months in federal prison (7.5 years).
In mid-May, Nelson is released from federal prison.
Jennifer Fulford was reported missing at 6:25 p.m. on September 27. At 3:30 p.m., Fulford had not picked up the child for whom she was a nanny.
Fulford’s vehicle, a 2015 gray Hyundai SUV, is discovered abandoned in a Publix parking lot in Orlando on September 28.
On September 29, crime scene investigators examine Fulford’s vehicle and discover a beer bottle, a man’s watch, and blood-stained things.
Nelson is wanted by the state for grand theft, credit card theft, unlawful credit card use, and two counts of criminal use of personal identifiable information.
Fulford’s body was discovered in the woods around 1 p.m. on September 30. The body was “in an advanced condition of decay with apparent indicators of foul play,” according to the report.
Nelson was apprehended by US Marshals outside an Amtrak rail station in Jacksonville, Florida on October 1.
Nelson is being kept in federal detention for breaking the terms of his 2010 bank robbery probation.
Nelson sends a letter from the Federal Detention Center in Miami to an Orlando Police Department detective, demanding information regarding the investigation.
On November 13, Orlando Police Department Detective Ferrara visits with Nelson in prison. Nelson allegedly admitted to the details surrounding Fulford’s murder, according to police.
Nelson is charged with first-degree murder, kidnapping with a weapon, burglary of a home with an assault/battery with a weapon, carjacking with a dangerous weapon, robbery with a deadly weapon, and interfering with a witness to prevent communication with a law enforcement official on December 5th.
December 12: Nelson is indicted by a grand jury on five of the above charges, but not the tampering with a witness accusation. The remaining charge is transferred, according to the court’s record.
The State Attorney’s Office files a “no information notice” on March 5th, considering Nelson’s grand theft, credit card theft, and identity theft accusations “unsuitable for prosecution.” The murder, robbery, burglary, and carjacking charges are still pending in this case.
Nelson writes a letter to the judge from jail on April 27th, citing his poor treatment and asking a “heavy calorie diet.” While jail, Nelson claims to have lost 40 pounds. In exchange for more food, Nelson also promised to provide information on eight unsolved homicides. In a handwritten letter posted on the court’s docket, he adds, “I’ve never been caught for this.”
On behalf of Nelson, the defense submits a private Notice of Incompetency. This filing puts the “speedy trial” timetable on hold.
Nelson has a psychiatric/psychological evaluation on October 26th, according to the court record.
Nelson is found competent to stand trial on April 24. “This court does not feel the Defense has met its burden of showing that Nelson is incompetent to proceed,” the judgment states.
The trial deadline clock starts ticking again.
The court instructs the jail to transport Nelson willingly or by whatever “reasonable means necessary, including reasonable force” to all upcoming sessions.
The state informs the court that Nelson has rejected the state’s plea offer.
The jury selection process in Nelson’s death sentence case begins on June 10.
Scott Nelson is found guilty of all charges by a jury on June 28.
On July 11, the jury decides against the death penalty and instead sentences Nelson to life in prison without the possibility of parole.