ORLANDO, Fla. (FOX 35 ORLANDO) - Should convicted killer Scott Nelson live or die? The defense spent Tuesday making its case to spare life. Last week, a jury found Nelson guilty in the murder of Winter Park house manager and caregiver Jennifer Lynn Fulford.
On Tuesday, Nelson's brother took the stand, testifying about their childhood. Scott Nelson's childhood was detailed in depth for his defense. His other brother, James, video-conferenced into court, talking about their mother's mental illness, Scott's substance abuse problems and years of childhood abuse by their father.
"It ranged from slapping and pushing to where I was hit with a 2x4 on more than one occasion," said Scott Nelson's brother, James Nelson. James Nelson spent nearly three hours detailing a childhood of horrors.
"He would throw hammers at people. By people, I mean we children, his children."
The state objected several times, leading to this outburst by Scott Nelson.
"I object, your Honor."
"Mr. Nelson you have an attorney who makes objections. You understand, sir? You're not permitted to make objections."
"I object to all these interruptions," said Nelson.
Scott Nelson later stayed silent as his cousin and childhood friend took the stand. Then a neuropsychologist told the jury Nelson scored poorly on brain testing, including memory and executive function.
"It's my opinion it's a storm of factors that likely caused this," said neuropsychologist Dr. Robert Ouaou.
Those factors, he said, include Scott Nelson's head injuries from falls, head banging and car accidents over the years, heavy alcohol and cocaine abuse, his family history of disease and mental illness and trauma.
Another neurologist also said Nelson's medical problems may be a result of silent strokes over the years, and all this could cause "impulsiveness, loss of appreciation of right or wrong or impaired, planning."
The neurologists also testified that a lot of these issues were self-reported by Nelson and that they didn't have medical or school records to back it up. The defense will continue to make its case in court Wednesday morning. They plan to call a few more witnesses.