It took less than two hours Wednesday for jurors in Dakota County District Court to convict Shavelle Chavez Nelson of first-degree premeditated murder in the death almost 14 months ago of Palagor (Paul) Jobi.

Shortly after the verdicts were read, District Judge Kathryn Messerich sentenced Nelson, 32, to life in prison without the possibility of parole. He showed no emotion and told the judge he had nothing to say.

Jobi’s mother, Mary Oman, was in the courtroom for the closing arguments and verdict. Prosecutor Kathy Keena read a short statement from her that said the victim was “a good son, brother and friend … who loved everybody. The family misses him very much.”

On Nov. 4, the opening day of the trial, Nelson’s attorneys Erin Carey and Brenda Lightbody told the court that their client admitted shooting and killing Jobi outside Nina’s Grill in Burnsville on Sept. 22, 2013. The only real question for jurors to decide was whether it was premeditated and intentional or self-defense.

In her closing argument Wednesday, Keena said that the six gunshots to Jobi’s back, including four to the back of his head, were evidence of premeditation. One of the first two shots — to his forehead — sliced through Jobi’s brain and would have caused him to crumple to the ground, she said.

The exit wounds, along with the blood spatter around his head, proved that the last six shots came while he was sprawled facedown.

Lightbody, however, told jurors in her closing argument that Jobi was the drunken aggressor. He “cold-cocked” Nelson and Nelson had “a reasonable fear for his life.”

The first three shots Nelson fired, Lightbody said, were “warning shots,” but Jobi continued to advance toward Nelson. They struggled, with limbs flailing and bodies twisting, which could account for the shots to Jobi’s back, she said.

Impact on Schunk case

The verdicts and sentence in the Jobi case could have an effect on the prosecution of Nelson in another case. He is charged with first-degree murder in the death of 20-year-old Anarae Schunk.

Schunk went with Nelson and his girlfriend, Ashley Conrade, to Nina’s that night and went with them to Conrade’s Rosemount home after the shooting. She was never seen alive again. Her body, riddled with stab wounds, was found eight days later in a roadside ditch near Lonsdale, Minn.

Conrade is charged with aiding an offender in the Jobi case and first-degree murder in the Schunk case. Conrade’s cases will track simultaneously and are to go to trial in April. Nelson’s trial in the Schunk case is to begin next May.

County Attorney James Backstrom said there’s been no change in that. Schunk’s family members have said they would be amenable to a plea bargain for Nelson if he got life in the Jobi case.

Nelson, with a long criminal record, has been in and out of jails and prison most of his adult life. He was free on $25,000 bail on a first-degree burglary case in Hennepin County when he killed Jobi and is alleged to have killed Schunk. He eventually pleaded guilty to the burglary charge and was sentenced to nine years in that case.

Schunk’s name was not mentioned during the five-day trial that ended Wednesday. Defense attorneys had argued that the highly publicized case was prejudicial to their client. She was repeatedly referred to as “another woman.”

What happened that night

According to court documents, testimony and evidence, Nelson arrived at Nina’s about 1 a.m. on Sept. 22 with Conrade and another woman. Jobi was already there with his cousins Wod and Manachan Talian and other friends.

About 1:40 a.m., surveillance video shows both groups milling about outside. Jobi ended up next to Conrade and told her: “You look beautiful tonight.”

Nelson wasn’t pleased that Jobi was talking to Conrade and got in his face, asking: “Why are you talking to my girlfriend?”

Wod Talian testified that he managed to defuse the situation. Nelson walked east but kept popping up his head, staring at Jobi, and then started toward him. Jobi met him halfway. The two squared off, and Jobi punched Nelson, spinning him around.

Rebecca Chenoweth, the driver of an SUV in the parking lot, testified that when Nelson was in front of the vehicle, she saw him pull a gun from his back waistband. Jobi was outside the rear passenger side. He ran around the back of the vehicle and was shot twice, in the right hip and forehead. The video, which has no audio, shows bar patrons ducking behind cars, fleeing and dropping to the ground when they hear the first shots.

At least six more shots followed, four to Jobi’s head and two to his back. “That, folks, is premeditation,” Keena told the jury. “There is no self-defense in this case.”