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Emotions boil over in juvenile court

Tuesday, June 16, 2009
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Emotions boiled over at the Harris County Juvenile Justice Center Tuesday when a grandmother confronted a 13-year-old girl accused of murdering her father.

"Mark Nelson's mother was here today and I don't want anyone to forget it and I want to see that justice is served for my son," said Leona Nelson, whose son was fatally shot in Katy in April, allegedly by her granddaughter.

Nelson confronted her granddaughter in an elevator. It was the first time the two had come face to face since the 13-year-old was first accused of shooting and killing her father back in April.

"She needs to be locked up and if they don't know why she did it and she has a mental problem, that's more of a reason to have her locked up, because they don't know when she is going to go off again," said Nelson.

A judge freed the Cardiff Junior High School seventh-grader last month as she waits for her case to go to trial.

The girl's attorney maintains her client is innocent until proven guilty and criticized Nelson for shouting and screaming at the 13-year-old, saying what she did was totally inappropriate.

"These things are not supposed to happen and believe me, it will be discussed with the judge," said defense attorney Windi Akins-Pastorini. "She threatened my client and told her, in effect, that she wishes that she were dead."

Mark Nelson, 38, was shot in the back of the head while he was lying in bed on April 29. He died just hours later.

While Pastorini insists the facts of the case will prove that the shooting may have been justified, Nelson believes her son was killed in cold blood.

Nelson met with prosecutors shortly after talking to reporters. As for the 13-year-old, her step-mother is now her legal guardian. There's no word on when her case will go to trial.

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