An 18-year-old was charged Wednesday with fatally shooting his sleeping father in the head with a rifle less than two hours short of the victim’s birthday at a farmhouse southwest of the Twin Cities.
Jonas D. Nelson was charged with second-degree murder in the death of Richard J. Nelson, 47, on Monday at their house northeast of Montgomery. The teen admitted to the killing and said he was fed up with how his father was treating him, according to the criminal complaint.
The younger Nelson remains held in lieu of $2 million bail in the Le Sueur County jail, having been arrested soon after the shooting about 11 p.m. at the home in the 10600 block of Le Sueur Avenue. The teen called police after the shooting, and deputies arrived to find his father on the living room floor, according to the charges.
The teen’s mother, Kristina Singer, of Prior Lake, wrote on her Facebook page Tuesday to say “thank you to all my family and friends who are praying and standing with my family and I at this time — I love you Jonas — and I always will.” Singer and Richard Nelson were divorced in 2011.
According to the criminal complaint:
When deputies arrived, they found Richard Nelson on the floor, his head on a pillow and his body covered by a blanket. He was dead.
At first, the younger Nelson told deputies he was upstairs in his bedroom when he heard a gunshot, came downstairs and found his father on the floor. The teen said his father had been sleeping on the living room floor lately because his bedroom was too cold.
But under further questioning, the teen complained about how his father had been treating him and blaming his mother for their divorce.
The defendant added that his father acted more like “a probation officer” and that his father’s religious views “screwed him up as a parent.”
Then the younger Nelson acknowledged that “what happened in there was me” and that he took a rifle from the gun cabinet and “did it to him.”
He added that he’s not one to go into fits of rage and “just snapped.” The teen said he hadn’t thought of killing his father until that night and felt “somewhat relieved” not having to deal with him anymore.
Paul Walsh • 612-673-4482