In October 2007, Martin Nelson shot and killed Chad Grijalva and Derek Davis in rural Iron County, then buried their bodies in his yard in Beryl, Utah.
While Nelson was spared the death penalty in the double murder case in 2010, the now 51-year-old man will spend life in prison.
On appeal in October 2013, Nelson claimed that his two highly-experienced trial counsel were ineffective for not investigating his case thoroughly enough or for presenting evidence that harmed him at trial. The Supreme Court held that trial counsel adequately defended Nelson and rejected all of his claims.
In a statement released Friday, Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes stated, "This case demonstrates the Attorney General Office's continued commitment to protecting the rights of victims and their families - and ensuring justice is served in Utah criminal cases.This is another example of the fine work done by the entire AG Criminal Appeals Division under the leadership of Director Laura Dupaix." said Attorney General Reyes.
Attorney General Reyes thanks Assistant Attorney General John Nielsen, who represented the State during the proceedings on appeal and Iron County Attorney Scott Garrett for his excellent work while representing the State during the original trial.