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Old 06-10-2004, 03:26 PM
GermanStar's Avatar
Annelid wrangler
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Fountain Hills, AZ
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Interesting local trial: cop arrested, charged with murder

We have another very interesting trial going on here. A police officer shot and killed a woman (35, upper middle class, 2 year old baby in back seat) who threatened his life with her vehicle. It was later determined that he shot her after she had past him and he had successfully avoided the vehicle. He was terminated and charged with second degree murder.

The Arizona Republic

MESA - John "Colby" Nelson of Ahwatukee bottles up his emotions as he relives his wife's death daily during the second-degree murder trial of Dan Lovelace.

But while it's painful to view autopsy photos and hear a defense attorney describe his wife, Dawn, as a criminal, Colby says it's also helpful to learn more details of her Oct. 11, 2002, death at the hands of the now-fired Chandler police officer.

"You're finding out what happened that day. It helps with closure," he said. "I'm glad the trial has started. It's been two years. He needs to answer for his actions."

No one disputes that Lovelace, 39, fatally shot Dawn Nelson, 35, as she attempted to flee from the drive-through window of a Walgreens drugstore with her 14-month-old son, Kenneth, in a rear car seat.

Prosecutor Vince Imbordino argues that Lovelace had no justification to kill Nelson, who was suspected of prescription-drug fraud. He accuses Lovelace of second-degree murder and endangerment.

But defense attorney Craig Mehrens argues that Lovelace was doing his job and shot Nelson in self-defense to stop her from running him over or crushing him against a building.

Six witnesses testified Tuesday, including Wendy Bagley, a Chandler mother who took her 4-year-old son to a doctor that day and drove to Walgreens to pick up a prescription.

Bagley testified that she saw Nelson's white Chevrolet Camaro move forward from the drive-through lane and hit Lovelace's motorcycle, which was parked in front of Nelson's car. The Camaro first nudged the motorcycle before knocking it over, she said.

"I stopped and he stepped off the median," Bagley said. "He yelled, 'Stop,' something like that. Then he took off after the car."

Bagley said she saw Lovelace run for two to three steps toward the Camaro, but then lost sight of both the car and the officer, her vision obscured. Bagley said she heard two or three shots, but attorneys said during opening statements that Lovelace fired only once.

When questioned by Mehrens, Bagley said she was scared and frightened when the Camaro started moving, fearful that Nelson would plow into her car as she drove by.

She said she drove around the drive-through lanes to avoid injury.
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Old 06-10-2004, 03:55 PM
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Location: Scottsdale, Arizona
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Interesting charge, second degree murder, instead of manslaughter, since the elements of "malice aforethought" have to be proven. I suppose the lesser charge might still be available.

I had a friend who was an officer that made a mistake in using deadly force by shooting an unarmed teenage girl that was fleeing an arrest. Clearly there was no justification in that situation and it was just a case of emotion getting the better of training.
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Old 06-10-2004, 04:30 PM
GermanStar's Avatar
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Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Fountain Hills, AZ
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Exactly what happened here, IMHO. I believe the woman did threaten his life, and that threat provoked the anger that led to the response. A lot of us may have reacted the same way, but this guy was trained in the use of reasonable force, which, in my opinion, holds him to a higher standard. Once she was passed him, he lost his right to defend himself. The guy really comes across as a smug prick, which isn't likely to help his cause...
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Old 06-10-2004, 06:53 PM
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 1,449
Same thing started a riot in Miami in 89. William Lozano was the cop. I think he was convicted of manslaughter.
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Old 06-11-2004, 02:37 AM
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Location: Florida
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rons right...they are held to a much higher standard...their job is to protect and well as defend their own lives in the line of shoot a woman who is driving away from you after she knocked over your little motorcycle, is neither protecting and serving or defending your own life....i hope this dick gets the book thrown at him,and hard
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