Convicted killer waives bid for parole

Brian Nelson shown here in court in St. George in 2003 was scheduled for parole hearing Wed. 7/25/03 (brad Nettles/Staff) 4/14/03

A man who killed two local law enforcement officers in 2002 waived his bid for parole this morning.

Just before his parole hearing was to begin, Brian Nelson notified prison officials that he did not wish to go through with the proceeding, said Pete O’Boyle, a spokesman for the state probation and parole agency.

He will continue to serve his 20-year prison sentence for killing the two officers.

On Nov. 19, 2002, Nelson was driving a pickup truck that struck Summerville police officer William Boland Bell, 48, and Berkeley County Sheriff’s Deputy Marion Eugene Wright II, 27. Bell and Wright had stopped to help a woman stranded with a flat tire on Boone Hill Road.

When the crash occurred, Nelson had a suspended driver’s license and a history of seizures. A blood test detected medications he took for the seizures.

A mix of family members and law enforcement officers gathered this morning at a video-conferencing room at the National Guard Armory on Cross County Road in North Charleston to oppose Nelson’s release. Nelson, however, opted to forgo his bid for freedom.

Last year, the state parole board turned down Nelson’s previous bid for release. That marked the third time Nelson has been denied parole. Two other times, he waived his right to a hearing, choosing to forgo any effort to get out of Lieber Correctional Institution, where he’s serving his sentence.

Hearings are held in Columbia, but victims also can address the S.C. Board of Paroles and Pardons by video link, such as the one at the armory.

Nelson, now 37, is serving the maximum on two charges of reckless homicide. He had to serve a quarter of his sentence before becoming eligible for parole.

Reach Glenn Smith at 937-5556 or Twitter.com/glennsmith5.