FORT WAYNE – Carmell Nelson entered and left an Allen Superior courtroom the same way Monday morning:
The only difference on his way out the door was that he knew where the next few decades – at the very least – of his life would be spent:
Nelson, 31, was sentenced to 55 years in prison for the April 2011 shooting of another man in a nightclub.
That man, Rovon Wilson, has been confined to a wheelchair and has been in and out of the hospital with a weakened immune system since the shooting, according to court testimony.
According to Allen County prosecutors, Nelson shot Wilson at least seven times.
The shooting was not the first run-in between the two, either.
In 2002, Nelson pointed a gun at Wilson and pulled the trigger. The gun never went off, but Nelson then used it to beat Wilson. That garnered Nelson a prison sentence which he completed in 2006.
After shooting Wilson in April 2011, a jury found him guilty this summer of aggravated battery, being a serious violent felon in possession of a firearm and attempted murder.
He was sentenced Monday to 45 years in prison for the aggravated battery and attempted murder convictions, with another 10 years tacked on a charge of being a serious violent felon in possession of a firearm.
Through his defense attorney, Nelson maintained his innocence.
Several members of his family did attend the hearing, but his sister, Latoya Nelson, was the one who stood and spoke on his behalf before a judge.
“He’s a good guy,” she said. “People can say what they want. It’s not true.”
Nelson smiled at his family as an Allen County Sheriff’s officer escorted him from the courtroom. Due to Indiana good behavior laws, his sentence could be cut in half.