Trial set for Missouri man charged with murdering Shawano County brothers

Photos: Lisa Diemel
Photos: Lisa Diemel(WBAY)
Published: Jan. 21, 2021 at 2:06 PM CST
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JOHNSON COUNTY, Mo. (WBAY) - A jury trial has been scheduled for 2022 for the Missouri man charged with killing the Diemel brothers from Shawano County in Wisconsin.

Garland Nelson appeared in Johnson County Court Thursday. The court scheduled a three-week jury trial to begin Feb. 7, 2022.

If convicted of Murder in the 1st Degree, Nelson would face the death penalty under Missouri statute.

Nelson is charged with two counts of Murder in the 1st Degree for the deaths of Nick Diemel and Justin Diemel, owners of a livestock business in the Bonduel area.

On July 21, 2019, the Diemels traveled to Nelson’s farm in Braymer, Mo. They intended to collect on a $250,000 debt from Nelson.

“Based on the investigation, it is believed Nick and Justin Diemel never left the property after they arrived and were intentionally killed. It is believed Garland Joseph Nelson acted alone or in concert with others in committing the act of murder against both Nick and Justin Diemel,” reads an affidavit filed against Nelson.

The affidavit says at 11:45 a.m. that day, Nelson drove the Diemel brothers’ rental vehicle from his Braymer farm to a park-and-ride in Holt, Missouri. Nelson stated that he left the keys in the ignition and removed the Diemel brothers’ cell phones and tossed them along the roadway. He arranged for someone to pick him up and take him back to the farm.

The affidavit states remains were found in a 55-gallon barrel in a pole barn on the Nelson farm. The affidavit states Nelson admitted to burning the remains, crushing the burn barrels, and cleaning up blood in a barn.

A blood stain on Nelson’s clothing was a DNA match for Nick Diemel, according to the affidavit.

Remains were also found on a trailer on a ranch in Nebraska. A rancher had recently purchased the trailer from Missouri.

A neighbor described hearing the sound of multiple gunshots coming from the direction of the Nelson farm at about 11:15-to-11:30 on the morning of July 21. That’s the time Nelson admitted that the Diemels were on the property prior to Nelson driving their rental vehicle to Holt.

A fired 30-30 caliber cartridge was found in Nelson’s clothing, and 30-30 caliber ammunition was found in Nelson’s vehicle. Nelson was in possession of a 30-30 caliber rifle.

In addition to the murder charges, Nelson has been charged with Abandonment of a Corpse, Tampering with Physical Evidence, Armed Criminal Action, Tampering with a Motor Vehicle, and Unlawful Possession of a Firearm.

Nelson’s case was transferred from Caldwell County, where the crime happened, to Johnson County. Johnson County is located about two hours south of Caldwell County.

Defendants often request a change of venue when they feel they cannot get a fair trial due to publicity or other reasons.

The Diemel family filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Nelson. A judge approved a $2 million settlement for the Diemel family.

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