Scott Nelson testifies in his own murder trial

A man accused of kidnapping and killing a Winter Park caregiver and house manager took the stand in his own murder trial on Thursday.

Scott Edward Nelson, 55, has admitted to killing Jennifer Fulford, 56, of Altamonte Springs; however, he said it was never his intent to take her life.  During his testimony, he put the blame on his federal probation officer, who was assigned to him following his release from federal prison in 2017.

"[I] was starving to death on the streets of Winter Park, one of the richest towns in Florida. The federal government turned me into an animal," Nelson told the court.

Nelson is accused of forcing his way into a Winter Park home and kidnapping Jennifer Lynn Fulford on Sept. 27, 2017. After holding her captive for brief period, he fatally stabbed her and dumped the body off of Apopka-Vineland Road.

"I never intended to kill that woman," he said. "It was not in my heart to do that. It wasn't what I had planned. I didn't want to kill that woman. She had never done anything to me." 

Nelson worked for a small business after his release from prison, and his employer also offered his a place to stay. Nelson blamed his probation officer for getting him fired from the job and leaving him homeless.

"I was hungry and starving to death on the streets," he said.

Ten days after the murder, investigators said Nelson took an Amtrak train to Jacksonville, where he was caught. He claimed, he waited for authorities to come get him.

"I allowed them to catch me," he said.

Nelson was the only witness for the defense. Closing arguments are expected on Friday.