Tuesday was a very rough day for Harry and Melissa Nelson of Omaha. The couple were in a courtroom to witness the sentencing Matthew Kidder, the man who was convicted of killing their daughter, 28 year old Jessica Nelson in June of 2015. Harry Nelson says he grew up with Kidder’s father and Matthew was considered one of the family.
Nelson says, “He was like family to us. He would stay the night. The other kids would have parties over at houses, birthday parties, everything. He was part of the family.” Nelson says Kidder was like an uncle to Jessica’s son.
Nelson remembers when he was called into police headquarters to learn that Kidder had been arrested for Jessica’s death and his head “hit the table.” Jessica had been sexually assaulted and strangled. He body was found in the bathtub of her home.
Nelson now sees the light. He says that Kidder had been in trouble with the law before. He had been charged and convicted of sexual assault and spent time in prison. Nelson says, “After the first time he got out we had a celebration and went out to dinner. We supported him thought everybody makes a mistake because we were of the believe that he had gotten a snow job. After this happened with our daughter it was like no, he was just conning us.”
Nelson says Kidder mourned Jessica’s death with the rest of the family and his acts were that of betrayal.
Kidder was sentenced to life in prison.