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Joshua Nelson

Florida Death Row Inmate

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Joshua Nelson

Joshua Nelson

Prison Photo
Joshua Nelson and Keith Brennan constructed a plan to murder Tommy Owens and steal his vehicle in order to leave the city of Cape Coral. With the knowledge that Owens kept a baseball bat in his car, Nelson and Brennan lured Owens to a remote street under false pretenses on the evening of March 10, 1995.

After convincing Owens to exit his car, Nelson struck Owens with the baseball bat. Owens fell to the ground after a number of blows and then had his arms and legs tied by Nelson and Brennan. Even though Owens pled for his life and offered to forfeit his car, Nelson and Brennan conferred and decided that, in order to avoid capture, they should kill Owens.

Brennan used a box cutter and tried to slice Owens’ throat. Owens, however, was still conscious when the stabbing began, and he begged Nelson to hit him with the baseball bat so as to render him unconscious before Brennan continued the stabbing. His request was granted, and Brennan continued the stabbing. Nelson and Brennan continued to strike Owens with the bat a number of times before dragging his body to nearby bushes. Owens later died.

Nelson and Brennan picked up Tina and Misty Porth in Owens’ car and the four left the city. They left the state and drove to New Jersey after stopping in Daytona. Nelson and Brennan informed Tina and Misty over the course of the trip that they had murdered Owens. Tina and Misty both testified at the trial.

After law enforcement officers apprehended Nelson and Brennan in New Jersey, Nelson gave both a video- and audio-taped confession. Nelson gave his detailed account of the murder both at the place of the bat’s discovery and at the crime scene, in his confession.

Source: Florida Commission on Capital Cases

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