The trial of an Alton man accused in the shooting death of a longtime Godfrey businessman and elected official has wrapped up with a guilty verdict. 36-year-old Donald M. Nelson has been found Guilty but Mentally Ill on a charge of First Degree Murder in the killing of 87-year-old Eldon “Twirp” Williams in October 2018 in a bench trial in Madison County Court before Circuit Judge Kyle Napp.
On the morning of October 16, 2018, Williams was shot and killed outside a home in the 200 block of West Delmar Avenue in Godfrey. Nelson was arrested a few blocks away on an unrelated call, but investigators quickly connected him to the alleged murder. Williams had been a longtime real estate agent in Godfrey, served on the Godfrey Village Board and was Township Assessor for many years prior to Godfrey incorporation. In addition to the Guilty but Mentally Ill verdict, Nelson was also found guilty on charges of Armed Violence, Unlawful Possession of a Stolen Firearm, Unlawful Possession of Weapons by a Felony, and Criminal Trespass to a Residence. He will spend the remainder of his life in the Illinois Department of Corrections receiving mental health services.
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