Missouri man pleads guilty in deaths of 2 Wisconsin brothers

Sep 30, 2022, 9:56 AM | Updated: 1:00 pm

HARRISONVILLE, Mo. (AP) — A northwest Missouri man pleaded guilty Friday to killing two brothers from Wisconsin after they came to his farm in 2019 to collect a debt from a cattle contract.

Garland Nelson, of Braymer, pleaded guilty to two counts of first-degree murder in the deaths of 24-year-old Justin Diemel and 35-year-old Nicholas Diemel, of Shawano County, Wisconsin.

He was given two life sentences without parole, which will run consecutively.

In exchange for his plea, charges of abandonment of a corpse, tampering with physical evidence, armed criminal action and tampering with a motor vehicle were dropped. the St. Joseph News-Press reported.

In 2020, one of Nelson’s defense attorneys said the state planned to seek the death penalty if Nelson was convicted in the killings. Despite that the Diemel family was “shocked” he pleaded guilty, but Brady Kopek, the Caldwell County prosecutor, said the deal had been on the table for a year.

The brothers’ father reported them missing July 21, 2019, after they didn’t return from a visit to Nelson’s farm, where they had gone to collect a $250,000 debt. Nelson was supposed to be caring for cattle for the brothers, according to court records.

The Diemel family sent livestock to Nelson’s farm to be cared for and sold between 2018 and 2019. The animals were neglected and many died but Nelson charged the family full price, according to court documents.

When the Diemels asked for their money back, Nelson intentionally sent a damaged check to Nicholas Diemel, which prompted the brothers’ visit to his farm.

Prosecutors said Nelson shot the brothers and drove their pickup truck off of his farm. He told authorities he put the men’s bodies in 55-gallon barrels and burned them. Nelson told investigators he dumped the remains on a manure pile and hid the barrels on his property, about 70 miles (110 kilometers) northeast of Kansas City, Missouri.

The remains were later found in Missouri and in a livestock trailer in Lincoln County, Nebraska, that had been purchased in Missouri.

When Nelson confirmed the details of the murders on Friday, it was the first time most members of the Diemel family heard what happened. Some family members cried and Pam Diemel, the victims’ mother, left the courtroom.

“I’m sick to my stomach right now,” Pam Diemel said after the hearing. “Life is very empty without them here.”

In 2020, the families of the victims reached a $2 million settlement in a wrongful death lawsuit filed against Nelson, his mother, Tomme Feil, and the family’s cattle business, J4S Enterprises.

At the time of the brothers’ deaths, Nelson was on parole after serving 17 months in federal prison for an October 2016 conviction for cattle and insurance fraud. Prosecutors said he sold more than 600 head of cattle that did not belong to him, causing more than $262,000 in losses.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

This photo provided by Robert Wilkes, owner of a house boat management company, shows smoke rising ...

Associated Press

Houseboats catch fire while docked at Wahweap Marina on Lake Powell

More than half a dozen house boats momentarily caught fire at a popular boating destination on the Utah-Arizona line on Friday.

3 days ago

File - Women work in a restaurant kitchen in Chicago, Thursday, March 23, 2023. On Friday, the U.S....

Associated Press

US hiring, unemployment jump in May and what that says about the economy

The nation’s employers stepped up their hiring in May, adding a robust 339,000 jobs, well above expectations.

3 days ago

(Pixabay Photo)...

Associated Press

Oath Keeper from Arizona sentenced for role in Jan. 6 riot at US Capitol

Edward Vallejo, a U.S. Army veteran from Phoenix, oversaw a “Quick Reaction Force” at a Virginia hotel that was prepared to deploy an arsenal of weapons into Washington if needed, authorities say.

4 days ago

FILE - U.S. Border Patrol Chief Raul Ortiz listens during a news conference, Jan. 5, 2023, in Washi...

Associated Press

US Border Patrol chief is retiring after seeing through end of Title 42 immigration restrictions

The head of the U.S. Border Patrol announced Tuesday that he was retiring, after seeing through a major policy shift that seeks to clamp down on illegal crossings at the U.S.-Mexico border following the end of Title 42 pandemic restrictions.

5 days ago

FILE - President Joe Biden talks with House Speaker Kevin McCarthy of Calif., on the House steps as...

Associated Press

House OKs debt ceiling bill to avoid default, sends Biden-McCarthy deal to Senate

The House approved a debt ceiling and budget cuts package late Wednesday, as President Joe Biden and Speaker Kevin McCarthy assembled a bipartisan coalition of centrist Democrats and Republicans against fierce conservative blowback and progressive dissent.

5 days ago

Sean Bickings (Family Photo via city of Tempe)...

Associated Press

Family of man who drowned last year in Tempe Town Lake files wrongful death lawsuit

The family of a man who drowned in Tempe Town Lake a year ago filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the city Wednesday, noting that its police department doesn't have a policy requiring officers to go into the water to save someone.

5 days ago

Sponsored Articles

...

SANDERSON FORD

Thank you to Al McCoy for 51 years as voice of the Phoenix Suns

Sanderson Ford wants to share its thanks to Al McCoy for the impact he made in the Valley for more than a half-decade.

...

Desert Institute for Spine Care

Spinal fusion surgery has come a long way, despite misconceptions

As Dr. Justin Field of the Desert Institute for Spine Care explained, “we've come a long way over the last couple of decades.”

...

OCD & Anxiety Treatment Center

How to identify the symptoms of 3 common anxiety disorders

Living with an anxiety disorder can be debilitating and cause significant stress for those who suffer from the condition.

Missouri man pleads guilty in deaths of 2 Wisconsin brothers