Area Man Accused of Killing Woman is Asking for New Court-Appointed Attorney

Joshua J. Nelson (Provided photo)

CLEARFIELD – An area man accused of killing a woman while she was mowing her lawn in DuBois in 2015 is asking for a new court-appointed attorney.

Joshua Jeffrey Nelson, 32, left Penn Highlands DuBois, and walked into the Brown Street area of DuBois where he allegedly stole a vehicle and struck a woman as she worked in her yard, according to previous repots.

He also allegedly assaulted two women at a nearby home. These events occurred on Aug. 12, 2015.

Nelson is charged with criminal homicide, aggravated assault, simple assault, burglary, resisting arrest, theft by unlawful taking, receiving stolen property, driving with a suspended license and reckless driving.

Nelson has been incarcerated on a probation violation since the time of the incident.

The trial was set to begin on Oct. 30, but it has been continued again because Nelson himself filed a request for a different attorney, according to court records. He has been represented by Mike Marshall of the public defender’s office.

In a handwritten motion, Nelson claims Marshall has had “zero contact” with the person who is Nelson’s power of attorney and has failed to file motions that Nelson has requested, including one regarding a change in venue for his trial.

“He is not pursuing my interests as far as plea negotiations,” Nelson wrote.

He attached a page from a letter from Marshall to illustrate Marshall’s demeanor toward his case, which Nelson claims is “less than satisfactory.”

In the letter, Marshall urges Nelson to sign a plea agreement because Marshall feels that “it is very unlikely that you would be acquitted of first-degree murder.” He advises that a plea for a 20-year sentence is better than taking a chance on receiving a life sentence.

Marshall states that he has no problem taking the case to trial if that is what Nelson truly wants to do, but said “the problem that I do have is knowing in my heart that it is not going to end well for you.”

Nelson also complains that Marshall has only met with him three times even though he is serving his time in SCI Houtzdale, which is in Clearfield County.

The motion has not yet been scheduled for a court hearing, according to online court records.

At the time of the incident, Nelson was on probation for a criminal trespass case from 2014 and a burglary case from 2013.

He was also awaiting a preliminary hearing in two other cases from July of 2015. One of these cases was continued because he was admitted to a mental hospital in Clarion.

On July 31, 2015 Nelson was charged in another case and at that time said he left the hospital too soon and wanted to be admitted back to the facility.

Nelson was then transported to an area hospital where he spoke with a mobile crisis worker.

For a complete breakdown of the events of Aug. 12, 2015, click here.

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