Court records show murder result of drug deal

A local man charged in connection with a recent murder was released from jail Thursday morning, but is expected back in court Friday.

Max E. Nelson Jr. is charged with accessory after the fact, abuse of a corpse and first-degree theft in the murder of David Warnell.

Court documents say the murder was the result of a drug transaction dispute in which Nelson facilitated the initial transaction. The document also says he witnessed the homicide and later participated in an effort to dispose of the deceased. Records show he initially denied involvement with the murder and was released by police. Once additional evidence surfaced, he was again questioned and admitted knowledge of the criminal activity and involvement.

Jeremy A. Gartin, of Marshalltown, is charged with first-degree murder for allegedly shooting Warnell in the head.

Nelson was previously charged in May 2012 with felony drug charges for delivering of methamphetamine.

James Scheetz, assistant Marshall County Attorney, filed a motion for Nelson’s recommitment after posting bail. According to court documents, the state is requesting Nelson be held without bond or be required to post a $300,000 cash bond.

Following the 2012 arrest, Nelson was ordered to post a cash or surety bond for $100,000. Following a contested bond review hearing, the conditions of his release were modified and then he was released from custody and placed on pre-trial release, according to court documents.

In January, court documents show Nelson violated pre-trial release by driving while suspended. It was then, Scheetz says, an error was made when a $3,000 cash or surety bond was issued. Instead, that bond should have been set at $300,000 given that three Class B felony charges were filed in the case.

A judge will consider Nelson’s recommitment on Friday.