Judge Lisa Rice sentenced Nelson to 15 years. She must serve 35 percent of the sentence before she becomes eligible for parole. Nelson was also given credit for over a year of pretrial confinement.
Nelson pleaded guilty to charges stemming from multiple injuries, including broken bones and bruises suffered by her 1-year-old child. The injuries were reportedly noticed by a Walmart manager, who notified authorities of the possible neglect or abuse in 2017.
Nelson is the second person convicted of neglect of the child. Corey Brett Scalf, 21, was a co-defendant in the case and he pleaded guilty on Oct. 17 to a charge of aggravated child neglect.
Rice also sentenced Scalf to 15 years, but the aggravated child neglect conviction will require him to serve 85 percent of the sentence before he becomes eligible for parole.
Nelson and Scalf were indicted by a Carter County grand jury on May 2. According to the grand jury presentment, Nelson and Scalf are accused of “knowingly abusing” the child “in such a manner to adversely affect the child’s health and welfare” resulting in “serious bodily injury to the child.”
Rice dismissed a charge of aggravated child abuse that had been part of the same grand jury presentment.
Scalf also entered guilty pleas to three other charges. On charges of aggravated burglary and theft over $2,500; Scalf entered guilty pleas to reduced charges of conspiracy to commit aggravated burglary and conspiracy to commit theft over $2,500.
Rice sentenced Scalf to three years of probation with Alternative Community Corrections on the conspiracy to commit aggravated burglary. That probation will begin after the prison sentence on the aggravated child neglect has been served. The theft over $2,500 guilty plea brought a two-year probation sentence, to be served concurrently with the aggravated burglary charge.
Assistant District Attorney General Matthew Roark prosecuted the the case. Caleb McDaniel was the for Nelson while Casey Sears represented Scalf.