KINGSTON, Mo. — Attorneys for a Missouri man accused of killing two brothers from Wisconsin are seeking to have two charges of abandoning a corpse dismissed in the case.
Garland Nelson, of Braymer, is facing the death penalty in the deaths of 24-year-old Justin Diemel and 35-year-old Nicholas Diemel, of Shawano County, Wisconsin.
The brothers’ father reported them missing July 21, 2019, after they didn’t return from a visit to Nelson’s northwest Missouri home, where they had gone to collect a $250,000 debt, according to court records.
According to a probable cause statement, Nelson shot the brothers, put their bodies in 55-gallon barrels and allegedly burned the bodies.
Nelson told investigators he dumped the remains on a manure pile and hid the barrels on his property, about 70 miles northeast of Kansas City, Missouri.
The remains were eventually found in Missouri and Nebraska.
Nelson has pleaded not guilty and is awaiting trial.
Nelson’s attorneys argue in a court motion filed Aug. 6 that a person who is charged with murder cannot also be charged with abandoning the corpse of the alleged victim without violating the suspect’s right to remain silent and against self-incrimination, The St. Joseph News-Press reported.
The Diemel brothers’ families filed the wrongful death lawsuit in December 2019, and the court entered a judgment in their favor Friday, awarding them $2 million in damages.