Opening statements to begin for man accused of killing Winter Park caretaker

Scott Nelson could face death penalty


ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. – Opening statements in the murder trial of the man accused of killing a Winter Park caretaker are scheduled to begin Monday.

Scott Nelson, 55, is accused of kidnapping and killing Jennifer Fulford in September 2017.

The opening statements come after two weeks of jury selection, which started June 10. One by one, lawyers for the State Attorney's Office and Nelson's defense team questioned potential jurors, including asking their thoughts on the legal system and if they knew anyone connected to it. 

The state and defense sat the 12-person jury Friday. 

Fulford was a caretaker in Winter Park. Her body was found in west Orange County days after she disappeared from her job. 

Investigators said she was kidnapped from her employer's home. She was reported missing after she didn't pick up her boss's son from school.

Police released surveillance video that showed Nelson using Fulford's debit card and tracked him down to Jacksonville. He was charged with theft and then with her murder. 

Nelson was already out on federal probation for armed robbery at the time of his arrest.

In April, Nelson was found competent to stand trial after months of delays. News 6 spoke to Fulford's sister, Kathy Cook, after that hearing.

"It's hard to celebrate right now," Cook said.

"Did you feel like he was competent?" News 6 asked.

"You know, I think he probably was, but I don't know. I just can't say anything else," Cook replied.

News 6 also got copies of letters Nelson sent to the judge. In one letter, he confessed to committing unsolved armed bank robberies and said he has information about eight other homicides. 

Nelson is charged with first-degree murder. He has pleaded not guilty.

According to court documents, his defense team expects the trial to last at least three weeks. 

Nelson could face the death penalty if convicted. 

About the Author: