PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A Philadelphia jury is now deliberating, after hearing about a love triangle involving a former corrections officer and his teenaged ex-girlfriend, her new boyfriend, and shots fired in an East Germantown playground. The 2015 confrontation left a teen boy wounded. He was shot in the neck, but recovered.
The nearly three-week long trial weaves a tangled web, involving a 38-year-old corrections officer, Duval Nelson, and his 19-year-old girlfriend, Elizabeth Brown.
Defense lawyer James Funt told jurors Brown never told Nelson she was dumping him.
Funt says Nelson mistakenly believed that the man who confronted him in the playground, Brown’s new boyfriend, Nickroy Prince, was her old boyfriend, who had previously abused her, by beating and choking her.
Funt says Nelson, while backing away, told Prince, “Yo, I’m carrying, and I don’t want trouble.” The defense claims after Prince punched Nelson in the head, Nelson fired two shots – from his licensed handgun – into the ground, one of which ricocheted, and struck a 16-year old bystander.
Prosecutor Rachel Collind Clarke told jurors Nelson”provoked the encounter, did not reasonably fear for his life, and violated a duty to retreat.”
She added, “jurors, you only need to find one of these elements to reach a guilty verdict.”
Nelson faces two counts of aggravated assault and possession of an instrument of crime.