PALMER — A man convicted for a May 2011 shooting that killed a Trapper Creek man was sentenced Wednesday to serve 99 years in prison.

Jeremy Nelson, 38, maintains he didn’t shoot Bob Carey or his wife, Verna Carey. Bob Carey died, Verna Carey was injured. Wednesday, Superior Court Judge Beverly Cutler gave Nelson 75 years for murder and 24 for attempted murder for 99 years total.

“This man should never be allowed to be free again ever,” Cutler said, noting Nelson’s lack of remorse and inability to think, feel and behave like a person deserving of freedom.

That was certainly the sentiment of Verna Carey and one of her daughters, Laura Carey.

“I just want to make sure that this sort of thing never happens to anyone else by his hands,” Verna Carey said.

Laura Carey, for her part, asked the court to imagine finding out that “the man you have worshipped your whole life is lying face down in his driveway with a bullet in his chest.”

She said she has trouble feeling safe in her own home now, her children are having trouble dealing with the loss of their grandfather, and that since the trial, she’s become estranged from Verna.

“You totally destroyed my family,” she said.

Prior to Cutler’s ruling, Palmer District Attorney Roman Kalytiak argued the shooting was planned and premeditated. He said Nelson brought two guns to the slaying. He wore snowshoes to get to the Careys’ cabin easier. He unplugged their generator so they’d come outside.

Planned killings like that, Kalytiak said, are the most serious kinds of murders the law recognizes.

He noted that if Nelson chooses to continue to assert his innocence, he also chooses not to show remorse and not to help the court find some kind of a reading on whether he is amenable to rehabilitation.

By making that choice, Kalytiak said, Nelson leaves the court with just the evidence to consider. And the evidence is damning.

“This was just a cold-blooded killing,” Kalytiak said at the hearing.

He asked for 144 years of prison time.

Nelson’s attorney, Jeff Bradley, said it was difficult to recommend a sentence since Nelson maintains he is innocent.

“I’ve had enough clients lie to me that what he says isn’t going to convince me,” Bradley said.

But this case is different, he said. Even after a long trial, Bradley said he still has strong doubts as to Nelson’s guilt.

Still, Bradley said, when he takes the question of guilt out of the equation, and just looks at the murder, he said he doesn’t see it as a seriously, heinous crime. Especially compared to other murders in Alaska that have involved torture, or people hunted for sport or taxidermized.

“In the scheme of things we have to compare it to, it’s really not even bad,” Bradley said.

Far from a long, torturous death, Carey died from a shotgun blast to the chest, Bradley said. And Carey was an old man whose family doubted he had much time left in this world, he said.

“If I could choose (how to die) I think this would top the list,” Bradley said.

But Cutler disagreed. As for the evidence, she noted that whatever doubts Bradley may have the jury dispatched its misgivings after four or five hours of deliberation. She said the evidence was overwhelming and that as murders go, it was serious.

“He’s had his fair trial and we have to accept that this was a senseless deliberate murder,” Cutler said. “It was heinous. It was brutal.”

Contact reporter Andrew Wellner at andrew.wellner@frontiersman.com or 352-2270.

Contact reporter Andrew Wellner at andrew.wellner@frontiersman.com or 352-2270.

(9) comments

lisa
lisa

While reading this story it made me sick to read the comments made by Mr. Bradley. An educated man sits and says “In the scheme of things we have to compare it to, it’s really not even bad,” Does he not have any older men in his family? Bob Carey WAS MURDERED and for someone to dismiss his killing by saying it's not really bad is awful. It does not matter how OLD he was, he had a right to live his life until GOD decided it was time for him to go NOT Mr. Nelson for him to decide.

alaskassweetrevenge
alaskassweetrevenge

I dont understand why everyone is talking about Mr. Bradley. JEREMY NELSON is the guy that killed a man the night of Jan 22. 2011. Not Mr. Bradley.

willowwood53
willowwood53

In my previous posting I wasn't allowed to use the real 4 letter term that begins with "N" and ends with "i", because they said it was profanity. Imagine that!
Wouldn't all the "Neo ____s" be offended that they are considered profanity!
Oh this world of political correctness!

willowwood53
willowwood53

Bradley...a typical humanist. That's his religion. He has himself set up as God.
The infirmed & elderly are nothing to him. He'd make a good German SS Officer.
To the ovens with them!

123homer
123homer

@ alaskasswetrevenge- I agree that Mr. Bradley was doing his job when he defended Jeremy. I'm thankful for that because I considered Jeremy a friend, but when he starts discounting a mans life because of his health or age, he's crossed the line. That is totally disrepectful to the surviving murder victims. To say that a way a person was murdered was "really not bad" is messed up. If the over exposure to horrible crimes has desensitized Mr. Bradley to the point that he believes some types of murders are "not bad" then he needs to change careers or maybe even be incarcerated himself, if his moral compass is really that screwed up.

perennialgma
perennialgma

Yes I too have noticed a trend here in our law department. No respect for human life. They are liars and benders of the truth. Very difficult to find a 'good' lawyer. In todays legal world, it is not about the truth. It is about careers. All of it. Both sides. Wild Bill was right.

alaskassweetrevenge
alaskassweetrevenge

Mr. Bradley is only doing his job.

Regardless of whether a criminal lawyer's client is guilty of the crime he or she is being tried for or wrongly accused, the defense attorney's job doesn't change: make the prosecution prove its case with sound arguments, real evidence, and reliable testimony. In a sense, the real client of a defense attorney isn't truly the defendant at all but the integrity of democracy and the justice system.

While the Prosecutor, Troopers, and Investigators go around with blinders on because according to them "They have the right guy". As a victim SOMETIMES it's the DEFENSE ATTORNEY, that really tries his best to find out the TRUE and COMPLETE story. And SOMETIMES he is your only lifeline.


Listening to both sides of a story will convince you that there is more to a story than both sides.

Paul
Paul

Mr. Bradley is an example of a trend where the very old and the very young are not considered worthy of living. This is very troubling.

12345
12345

Jeff Bradley, you sound like a horrible person. You are the reason people think poorly of lawyers. How can you say that killing someone "really is not even bad." Maybe from your time in law you have been so far corrupted that it might really not seem bad to you. I hope your family is very proud of you. Good luck sleeping at night with your disgusting way of thinking.

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.