Man Charged In Baylor Seminary Graduate’s Death Goes On Trial

Steven Lawayne Nelson (Jail photo)

FORT WORTH (October 1, 2012)—Steven Lawayne Nelson, who’s charged with capital murder in the March 2011 slaying of the Rev. Clint Dobson, 28, a 2008 graduate of Baylor’s Truett Theological Seminary, went on trial Monday in Fort Worth.

Nelson faces a possible death penalty if convicted.

Prosecutors told jurors Monday Nelson wanted to steal a car so he walked to the NorthPointe Baptist Church in Arlington, killed Dobson and beat ministry assistant Judy Elliott, 67, who was severely injured.

Defense attorneys did not make an opening statement.

Several members of NorthPointe Baptist Church in Arlington testified Monday that they had appointments with Dobson on March 3, 2011, but told jurors he didn't answer his phone or respond when they tried to get in the church.

Elliot’s husband, John Elliott, testified that he went to the church that afternoon and got inside.

He said he didn't recognize his wife because she was beaten so badly.

He testified he didn't see Dobson's body at first.

Dobson, a Houston native, earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology from Baylor University in 2004 and graduated from Baylor’s Truett Theological seminary four years later.

He joined the staff of the First Baptist Church Arlington in June of 2008 and went on to become the pastor of NorthPointe Baptist Church, which is a satellite of First Baptist Arlington.

Church members described Dobson as a dynamic pastor who always had a smile and hug for them as they walked into the sanctuary before each service.