Friday, November 03, 2000

Man convicted in murder-scalping

'It was great,' he confessed to police

The Associated Press

        AKRON, Ohio — A man who confessed to shooting and scalping his wife's lover was convicted Thursday of aggravated murder and sentenced to life in prison.

        Testimony in the trial of Fredrick Nelson revealed that he took the scalp of Mark “Marko” Burton as a trophy after shooting him repeatedly.

        Mr. Nelson had told police he was getting revenge for the end of his marriage when he shot Mr. Burton on Aug. 5 at Crocker's Restaurant & Bar, where Mr. Burton was chef.

        “This is not something I wanted to do. I had to do it, and it was great,” Mr. Nelson told Cuyahoga Falls police Detective David Cooper in a tape played Wednesday for jurors.

        Mr. Nelson said he shot Mr. Burton several times but avoided his face.

        “I wanted him to see me scalp him. I wanted him to see my eyes, so he knew,” he said.

        Mr. Nelson, 42, and the father of three, will not be eligible for parole for at least 20 years.

        According to trial testimony, Mr. Burton and Christine Nelson had been involved for more than eight months.

        On the day Mr. Burton was killed, Mrs. Nelson told her hus band their marriage was over.

        After smoking marijuana and drinking vodka and orange juice on top of taking prescribed antidepressants, Mr. Nelson bought a shotgun, a box of shells and a hunting knife, he told police.

        Police said Mr. Nelson attacked Mr. Burton, 42, behind the restaurant's bar, shooting him in the chest, groin and penis before using the knife to scalp him.

        Mr. Nelson said the first shot knocked Mr. Burton to the floor. After firing again, Mr. Nelson said, he laughed as Mr. Burton begged for his life.

        “I grabbed him by the hair, pulled his hair up with the other hand, swish, and I took his scalp,” he said on the tape.


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