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Press: UM Frat President Held in Murder

Wednesday, June 30, 2004
Oxford Eagle

Staff Writer

A stunning arrest was made yesterday in the brutal death of University of Mississippi Instructor Kristi Waterson. Yesterday, Yoknapatawpha County Sheriff's Detectives arrested Waterson's student Nathanial "Hunter" Nelson, 26, and charged him with murder.

"Hunter" Nelson, the charged suspect, is President of Delta Tau Chi Fraternity, and is popular and well-known by UM students. His arrest has shocked UM faculty members. "This is devastating for the college," said John Brewer, Head of the UM School of Business Administration. "It's a terrible day for the school and the entire student body. Who would have guessed that one of our students might be responsible for Kristi's death?"

Yoknapatawpha Public Information Officer Elizabeth Jones would not elaborate on the specifics of the evidence that led investigators to charge Nelson, but said, "Forensic evidence played a significant role in the decision to arrest Mr. Nelson."

Ms. Waterson was found murdered in her apartment on May 23, 2004. It initially appeared that Waterson was a suicide victim, but examination by the Yoknapatawpha County Coroner's Officer caused the death to be ruled a homicide.

She was the daughter of Michael and Virginia Waterson of Biloxi. Through the family attorney, the Waterson family, who offered a $75,000 reward, had no comments about Nelson's arrest other than, "hopefully justice will be served."

Nelson's parents, Beauregard and Lindsay Nelson of Natchez, expressed outrage that police arrested their son for the murder. "The Sheriff's Department has provided no solid evidence to prove him guilty," his mother said. "Kristi had a wild reputation and known to deal with shady characters. We believe our son is innocent and stand behind him all the way." She went on to say that, "evidence will prove who the real killer is."

Nelson is being held without bond pending arraignment. If convicted of capital murder, he could face the death penalty.

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