Man found guilty in 2018 murder of 87-year-old Godfrey trustee


EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. – An Alton man has been found guilty of murdering an 87-year-old Godfrey trustee in Oct. 2018.

According to the Madison County Attorney’s Office, 36-year-old Donald Nelson was arrested as a person of interest.

Nelson admitted to killing Eldon C. “Twirp” Williams Jr., said it was not an accident because he planned it, and would do it again because it gave him a rush.

Williams Jr. served as a trustee in Godfrey and worked as an associate broker for Landmark Realty.

On Oct. 16, 2018, he came to a home on the 200 block of West Delmar Avenue to prepare it to be sold. That’s when the Alton Police Department says Nelson shot Williams killing him just before noon.

Williams was found deceased in the front driver’s seat of a Lincoln car. The elderly man had a gunshot wound to the back of his head.

According to court documents, the defense said Nelson suffers from a mental illness that contributed to the crime. In the past, Nelson tried to get help for the illness, but couldn’t continue because of the costs.

A clinical psychologist in Illinois, Dr. Daniel Cuneo testified in court saying, “while Donald Nelson suffered from Schizoaffective disorder, he was malingering (or faking) his symptoms and was in his expert opinion, sane at the time he committed the murder.”

Nelson was found guilty but mentally ill of first-degree murder, armed violence, unlawful possession of a stolen firearm, unlawful possession of weapons by a felony, and criminal trespass to a Residence.

The attorney’s office says Nelson will be sentenced at a later date but will spend the remainder of his life in the Illinois Department of Corrections receiving mental health services.

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