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Second Arrest Made in Killing of Palm Coast Toddler

ⓒ Flagler County Sheriff's Office

PALM COAST – A second arrest has been made in connection to the shooting death of an 18-month-old in Palm Coast’s R Section. Sheriff Rick Staly announced in a press conference on Monday that C.J. Nelson Sr, the father of the first suspect arrested, has also been charged with felony offenses in the incident.

C.J. Nelson Jr, 22, was arrested in September for violation of parole; he was later charged in November with manslaughter. Nelson Sr. is now charged with two counts of tampering with evidence and providing false information to law enforcement.

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According to summaries of the incident by Flagler County Sheriff’s Office representatives, the younger Nelson was allegedly trying to unjam a handgun when it discharged and went through a wall in his place of residence, fatally striking his toddler niece. The girl’s mother had been preparing a bath for her at the time of the shooting, the FCSO says. Nelson Sr. is accused of coaching his family on lies to tell police to cover up the true events and having his son clean fingerprints off the gun and take a shower.

Nelson Sr. was arrested at the county jail on Friday when he was loading money into his son’s account. He remained behind bars for four hours before posting his $15,000 bond. In his press conference, Staly painted Nelson Sr. as an obstacle to the investigation and threat to other witnesses of the shooting.

The last Staly addressed the public he was accompanied by Detective Kathryn Gordon, the lead investigator on the case. At that press conference in November they said Nelson Jr. was high when the shooting occurred. Nelson Sr. has a variety of previous criminal offenses, including domestic battery, child abuse, and marijuana possession.

Written By

Chris Gollon is a Flagler County resident since 2004, as well as a staple of the local independent music scene and avid observer of Central Florida politics, arts, and recreation.

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. TR

    January 8, 2024 at 9:45 pm

    Like father like son. Maybe they will share a cell together in prison.

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