Man sentenced for murdering mother 'out of compassion'

CORPUS CHRISTI (KIII NEWS) - 75-year-old Leslie Nelson was formally sentenced Thursday to 15 years in prison. He was convicted in the fatal shooting of his 94-year-old mother in August of last year.

Nelson said he did it out of compassion.

"He's my dad. I love him," said Bevin Davis, Nelson's daughter.

Davis had to find the strength within to forgive her father.

"He adored my grandmother," Davis said. "Always has."

Court officials called it a complicated case filled with emotion.

Nelson's attorney, Simon Purnell, said his client believed he was doing what was best for his mother, who had been living with dementia and Alzheimer's for years.

"Mr. Nelson had nothing but love for his mom when he did what he did," Purnell said. "The problem was that it was a violation of the law, and it's very violent when you think of shooting someone in the head, even though she didn't realize that's what was happening to her."

Nelson's daughter said her father is nothing but a caring man and thought he was doing the best for his mother, Vivian Nelson.

"She didn't really recognize any of us, and I think she would be absolutely very grateful that he did what he did," Davis said.

Purnell said after hearing the facts and both sides, the jury took a very short time to come up with a guilty verdict. It was deciding on his punishment that took several hours.

"I think the jury thought about it. It was a hard case but they clearly thought that it was a guilty type of case and came back with guilty very quickly," Purnell said. "The question I think for all of us is, what do you do in these circumstances as far as punishment is involved?"

Purnell and Davis said Nelson was facing somewhere from 5-30 years in prison. Ultimately, he was sentenced to 15 years.

"I'm quite happy with it," Davis said. "Is it going to be hard? Yes. But I'm here. I'm still supportive. I love him."

At 75 years old, Purnell said jail could potentially be where Nelson spends the rest of his life.

"With him, it's probably going to be a life sentence simply because of his -- he's got diabetes and other issues," Purnell said.

Davis believes in 15 years she will be reunited with her father in person to give him a second chance.

"I would absolutely be able to hug and give him a kiss and tell him how much I love him," Davis said. "I love you. I'm here. Call any time you want to."

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