In Memory of

NELSON JOHN MINTER

September 15, 1957 - December 3, 1993

Kenneth L. Claggett was arrested for Nelson's murder Friday morning, May 4, 2007

He pled guilty to Voluntary Manslaughter on November 27, 2007.

He was released immediately following the hearing after having served a 223 day sentence.

Link to Washington Post Article

Washington Post Comments

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Nelson's Harley

 

 

A Mother's Grief
by
Mary Jane Alexander

In the beginning, I was stunned by the grief of losing Nelson.  The fact that his death was a homicide only compounded my anguish.  Unlike an accidental death or a death by vehicular homicide, survivors of murder victims must acknowledge that someone wanted their loved one dead.   The intentionality of the crime complicates the grief exponentially.  Imagining the terror and horrible pain of Nelson's last moments haunts me to this day.

Having a blind faith in our justice system and naively believing that perpetrators of homicide were always punished, I was determined that Nelsonís murderer(s) would receive justice. My belief was strengthened by the fact that the detectives who worked on the case were convinced of the perpetratorsí identities.  My patience was strained in the early months, as every single homicide seemed to take priority over Nelsonís.  I struggled to believe that our turn would come; that Nelsonís murderers would eventually receive appropriate punishment.  As months turned into years and the case became cold, I began to feel that Nelsonís murder didnít matter to those who worked on the case; that his life was marginalized.  This exacerbated my heartache even further. 

In addition to coping with the violent loss of my youngest son and the seeming indifference of the justice system, I have had to defend my position as custodian of the life insurance money that Nelson left for his children.  

Devious attempts to gain access to these funds have been relentless.  I have been taken to court twice in unsuccessful efforts to force me to renounce my duty as designated guardian of the funds.

Nelson left this money to his children so that they might have the advantages in life that he never had, and I am beholden to carry out his wishes. I am committed to protecting his childrenís money until they are 21 years of age.  This is the last thing that I will ever be able to do for my son.

I have gradually come to realize that there probably will never be an arrest or trial for Nelsonís murder.  As difficult as this was to accept, I now feel a certain sense of peace as I focus my energy on remembering Nelson and honoring the miracle he was building.  Helping Cindy with this website was a step in this direction.  Continued contacts with some of his loyal friends help me to realize that Nelson is remembered.  I am forever grateful for these connections, as one of my worst fears was that he might be forgotten.   Now I know that his memory lives on in the hearts of those who knew and loved him.

The pain of losing Nelson will be with me forever, but the edge is softer now.  He had so much to give.  I mourn that his life was snuffed out before he was able to complete his mission.

My quest for justice has diminished over the years.   I bear no malice nor do I wish for revenge toward my sonís killers.  Rather, I feel profound pity for them.  Surely living with their depraved hearts must be the worst punishment of all.