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Monday, July 22, 2024 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

Chaos in the Court

FORT WORTH (CN) - After being sentenced to death for murdering a pastor during a church robbery, a man lost control in a holding cell Tuesday, breaking a sprinkler head that flooded a Texas courtroom with water.

Steven Lawayne Nelson, 25, of Arlington, was convicted last week of the capital murder of Clint Dobson, 28, who was suffocated with a plastic bag during the March 3, 2011 robbery of NorthPointe Baptist Church in Arlington.

A Tarrant County jury on Tuesday took just 90 minutes to decide to sentence Nelson to death, according to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

Nelson screamed and howled in the holding cell as court personnel scrambled to lift boxes of evidence before they were damaged by black water and fire retardant.

Deputies evacuated Tarrant County Criminal District Court No. 4 and firefighters were called to stop the water.

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