Nelson to remain out of jail

A Marshalltown man who was arrested for felony drug charges and mutilating a corpse will remain out of jail.

Judge James Ellefson ordered Friday morning that Max E. Nelson Jr. will be on pre-trial release under the supervision of the Department of Corrections.

James Scheetz, assistant Marshall County attorney, altered his request at the hearing, suggesting the pre-trial release. Scheetz originally filed a motion recommending Nelson be jailed without bond or be required to post a $300,000 cash bond. Nelson on Wednesday had posted a $10,000 bond and was released from jail.

Ellefson said he was surprised by the state’s request, but if Scheetz felt the community will be adequately protected and Nelson will continue to attend court hearings as required, he was satisfied.

In May 2012 Nelson was charged with two counts of delivering methamphetamine and ongoing criminal conduct. All charges are Class B felonies, each carrying a maximum prison term of 25 years.

Scheetz said during the hearing that Nelson will enter a guilty plea for the drug charges, however following the hearing, Scheetz said he was getting mixed signals.

“We’re trying to get resolution in this case,” Scheetz said. “Sometimes having someone in custody doesn’t get us there.”

A trial scheduled for Tuesday was cancelled, and a plea hearing for Dec. 2 was set.

Nelson was charged earlier this month with accessory after the fact, abuse of a corpse and first-degree theft in the murder of a Garwin man, David Warnell. Nelson pleaded not guilty to the charges this week.

Court documents indicate the murder was the result of drug deal dispute.

Police said Warnell was shot in the head by Jeremy A. Gartin, of Marshalltown. Nelson is accused of mutilating Warnell’s body post-mortem; court records show he was attempting to dispose of the body.