California v. NelsonAnnotate this Case
Defendant Eric Scott Nelson was going through a contentious divorce. After his friend Laura Tatarzyn mentioned getting a hit man to kill her boyfriend, defendant started talking to her about having the same hit man kill his wife. He said to Tatarzyn, "You should ask for a two-for-one deal." Tatarzyn told defendant's wife, who told the police. After an undercover operation, defendant was ultimately arrested for solicitation of murder. While he was in jail, he phoned his wife, in violation of a restraining order. He also phoned his girlfriend and tried to talk her into recanting her statements incriminating him. Defendant was sentenced to a total of eight years in prison, and he appealed. In the published portion of its opinion, the Court of Appeal held that defendant could commit solicitation of murder by soliciting Tatarzyn to solicit an unnamed hitman. In the unpublished portion of this opinion, the Court held that defendant's conviction for dissuading a witness had to be reversed; otherwise, the Court found no prejudicial error. The case was remanded for resentencing.