ORLANDO, Fla. - The defense rested Thursday morning shortly after accused killer Scott Nelson admitted he killed Jennifer Fulford because of convenience but blamed his parole officer.
Nelson is accused of kidnapping Fulford from the Winter Park home where she worked as a caregiver in September 2017, putting her in the trunk of her car and then killing her and dumping her body.
"Jennifer Lynn Fulford would be alive today if it was not for (the probation officer). I think the world should know that," Nelson said on the stand.
At the time of the murder, Nelson was on probation for a robbery conviction. He testified Thursday that his probation officer caused him to lose his job and become homeless.
Asked by prosecutors if his probation officer killed the 56-year-old grandmother, Nelson responded, "No, I did."
Nelson testified that in September he was working for a family-owned paint business in the Winter Park area and that the family had allowed him to live there. He said the officer went to the family and told them they "were crazy" for employing him and allowing him to live there.
“He made it a point to create a situation with my employer/landlord which is one and the same and he got me thrown on the street after months of suffering on the streets of Orlando," Nelson said.
Nelson testified he watched Fulford’s employer's home in Winter Park and decided to target the home because he was homeless and hungry.
"Once you kick a dog enough times, they bite back," Nelson said.
The day prior to allegedly kidnapping and killing Fulford, Nelson was seen on Walmart security camera buying duct tape and zip ties, according to investigators. Nelson testified the materials were part of his "plan of how I was going to survive being thrown on the street" and he needed money.
“I was hungry and starving to death in the streets of Winter Park,” Nelson said. “People don’t give a damn about nobody in this world. They don’t care. If I had knocked on someone’s door and said ‘Can I have a glass of water?’ Oh, (they would call) 911.”
The prosecuting attorney responded, “because when you knock on someone’s door, you plan to commit a robbery.”
Nelson, again, said his probation officer and the federal government “left him no choice” but to take money from Fulford.
“The federal government turned me into an animal,” Nelson said. “They terrorize you. They brutalize you.”
Investigators said Nelson was seen on ATM surveillance withdrawing $300 using Fulford's debit card soon after she was taken.
The defense rested Thursday morning shortly after Nelson took the stand. Closing statements will be delivered Friday beginning at 9 a.m.
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