Convicted killer denied parole

Brian Nelson

The state parole board on Wednesday denied Brian Nelson's bid for freedom. He will continue to serve his 20-year prison sentence for killing two local law enforcement officers in 2002.

A mix of family members and law enforcement officers packed a video-conferencing room at the National Guard Armory on Cross County Road in North Charleston to oppose Nelson's release, said Pete O'Boyle, a spokesman for the state probation and parole agency.

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.

This is the third time Nelson has been denied parole, O'Boyle said. 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 36, is serving the maximum on two charges of reckless homicide. He had to serve a quarter of his sentence before becoming eligible for parole.