Arlington pastor's killer sentenced to death; floods courtroom

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by JIM DOUGLAS and JOSH DAVIS / WFAA

WFAA and Associated Press reports

Posted on October 16, 2012 at 1:42 PM

Updated Tuesday, Oct 16 at 1:57 PM

FORT WORTH, Texas — Steven Lawayne Nelson was sentenced to death by lethal injection Tuesday in a capital murder trial for killing Arlington Rev. Clint Dobson at Arlington's NorthPointe Baptist Church last year.

The jury deliberated for two hours after hearing two weeks of testimony. Nelson, wearing rattling chains at his waist and feet, showed no reaction as he was sentenced to death.

Defense attorneys called Nelson's mother and other members of his family to testify to a childhood troubled by Attention Deficit Disorder and dysfunctional relationships.

Prosecutors said Nelson will always be a threat, and to spare him would condemn someone else.

After the sentencing, Phillip Rozeman, Dobson's father in law, said to Nelson it was "hard to fathom" how he could do that to another human being. Rozeman called it a "cosmic collision of good and evil."

Laura Dobson, Clint Dobson's widow, thanked the jurors and the court before addressing Nelson.

"I refuse to let you get the best of me," she said to Nelson. "No one wants to support pure evil, so no one will support you. You'll be forgotten. Clint will not."

Sharon Dobson, Clint Dobson's mother, addressed Nelson last. She said her son was still alive in spirit. Her final words to her son's murderer were "I wish you could have known him."

After the jury left, members of Dobson's family and the church congregation hugged and commiserated.

Meanwhile, Nelson caused more trouble.

After Nelson was moved to a holding cell, he apparently found a way to set off the sprinklers in the room and flooded it. Water seeped from under the door into the courtroom before deputies rushed into the holding cell.

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