On Friday, a northwest Missouri man admitted to killing two Wisconsin brothers who came to his farm to collect a debt.
Nelson pleaded guilty to two counts of first-degree murder in the deaths of Nicholas Diemel, 35, and Justin Diemel, 24, both of Shawano County, Wisconsin.
As a result, he was sentenced to two consecutive life sentences without parole.
As a result of his plea, charges of abandoning a corpse, tampering with physical evidence, armed criminal action, and tampering with a motor vehicle have been dropped. In an article for the St. Joseph News-Press, it was reported.
A defense attorney for Nelson said in 2020 that if Nelson were convicted in the murders, the state would seek the death penalty. Despite the Diemel family’s shock, Brady Kopek, the Caldwell County prosecutor, said the deal had been on the table for a year before he pleaded guilty.
The brothers’ father reported them missing on July 21, 2019, after they failed to return from Nelson’s farm, where they went to collect a $250,000 debt. According to court records, Nelson was responsible for caring for the brothers’ cattle.
During 2018 and 2019, the Diemel family sent livestock to Nelson’s farm for care and sale. According to court documents, Nelson charged the family full price despite neglecting the animals and causing many of them to die.
Upon asking for their money back, Nelson sent a damaged check to Nicholas Diemel, resulting in the brothers visiting his farm.
According to prosecutors, Nelson shot the brothers and drove their pickup truck off his farm. According to him, he burned the bodies in 55-gallon barrels. In his testimony, Nelson told investigators he buried the barrels on his property, about 70 miles northeast of Kansas City.
A cattle trailer purchased in Missouri was found later in Lincoln County, Nebraska, containing the remains.
Several members of the Diemel family heard the details of the murders for the first time when Nelson confirmed them on Friday. The victims’ mother, Pam Diemel, left the courtroom in tears.
“I’m sick to my stomach right now,” Pam Diemel said after the hearing. “Life is very empty without them here.”
A wrongful death lawsuit filed against Nelson, his mother, Tomme Feil, and the family’s cattle business, J4S Enterprises, settled for $2 million in 2020.
Nelson was on parole after serving 17 months in federal prison for cattle and insurance fraud in October 2016. According to prosecutors, he sold more than 600 cattle that did not belong to him, causing more than $262,000 in losses.
For more on this story, please consider these sources:
- Man convicted of killing Diemel brothers pleads guilty in federal fraud case – WEAU
- Cattle Fraud Scheme Resulted in Two Murders | USAO-WDMO