Inmate Brian Nelson is scheduled for a parole hearing July 25. Nelson was convicted of killing Summerville Police Patrolman William Boland Bell and Berkley (South Carolina) County Sheriff’s Deputy Marion Eugene Wright.
On November 19, 2002, Deputy Wright, 27, was traveling home on Highway 17-A, when he became stuck in traffic. He discovered that the traffic was backed up due to a motorist who was stranded on the road with a flat tire. Without hesitating, Deputy Wright stopped to help the female driver change a flat tire. He was soon joined by Patrolman Bell, 48, who also stopped to assist.
According to reports, Nelson veered his pickup truck off the road and struck the disabled vehicle, both police cruisers, and the two officers. He then fled the scene. Wright and Bell were killed instantly.
A witness to the scene followed Nelson and he was later apprehended. It was discovered later that Nelson’s driver’s license had been revoked, due to his history of seizures. He had been under the influence of prescription medication when he killed the Wright and Bell.
Nelson pled guilty to two felony DUI counts and was sentenced to two 10-year terms. However, because the he was not convicted of a violent crime, Nelson is not required to serve 85 percent of his sentence. He is eligible for parole after serving only four years of his sentence.
Deputy Wright had served with the Berkley County Sheriff’s Office for only two years. He is survived by a daughter. His girlfriend, Kim Kirk, said: “Gene was a very caring person. He would have done anything for anyone.”
Patrolman Bell was a veteran who had served in the United States Marine Corps. He had served in law enforcement for two and a half years. He is survived by his wife, two daughters, five stepchildren, and three grandchildren. Bell’s son in law, Summerville Police Sergeant Doug Wright, stated, “The main thing to remember is that Deputy Wright and my father in law died doing what they loved. And that was helping people.”
The section of highway where the crash occurred has been renamed William Boland Bell and Marion Eugene Wright Highway.
The families of both victims have stated that the only thing that will bring closure for them is for Inmate Nelson to serve his full sentence. A sample parole letter is provided below. Letters can also be submitted via the South Carolina Probation, Parole, and Pardon Services website:
South Carolina Department of
Probation, Parole and Pardon Services
2221 Devine Street, Suite 600
P.O. Box 50666
Columbia, SC 29250
I respectfully ask that you do not consider parole or early release of any kind to Brian Nelson, SCDOC #00292367.
On November 19, 2002, inmate #00292367 killed William Boland Bell, a Summerville Policeman, and Marion Eugene Wright, a Berkeley County Sheriff’s Deputy, while they attempted to help a stranded motorist on Hwy 17A near Summerville High School.
Inmate #00292367, whose license had been revoked by the S.C. Department of Motor Vehicles and was under the influence of prescription seizure medication at the time of the accident, tried to flee the scene. A witness caught and held Nelson until other officers arrived.
As a concerned citizen, and in the interest of public safety, I again respectfully ask that you keep inmate #00292367 behind bars for the entirety of his sentence. Justice demands that he be made to spend every remaining day of his life in prison.
NOTE TO LET READERS – This letter can be sent via email!
Learn more about this article here: