Convicted Murderer Handed Two Life Sentences

Billy Ray Nelson
Billy Ray Nelson

Staff Report
NewsWest 9

BIG SPRING - A convicted murderer, who has spent more than 15 years on death row, is headed back to prison with two life sentences.

That's the decision from a Howard County District Court in the murder case of Billy Ray Nelson.

Nelson was sentenced to die back in 1991 for the sexual assault and murder of 18-year old Charla Wheat and the attempted murder of Carol Maynard.

For more than a decade the convicted killer sat on death row before an appeals court threw out the sentence and sent the punishment phase of the trial back to Howard County.

Thursday's hearing was supposed to be a preliminary hearing, but the judge and attorneys from both sides reached an agreement that would put Nelson behind bars for the rest of his life with no chance at parole.

In return for admitting to the attempted murder of Maynard, Nelson got a second life sentence. Those sentences will be stacked.