Man who killed cop, deputy waives right to parole hearing

Officers show support during a 2010 parole hearing.
Officers show support during a 2010 parole hearing.

SUMMERVILLE, SC (WCSC) - A man convicted of hitting and killing two law-enforcement officers while they helped a stranded motorist change a tire in Summerville 10 years ago waived his right to a parole hearing on Wednesday morning.

According to the Department of Corrections, with good behavior, 37-year-old Brian Nelson will max out and be released in March, 2014.

Nelson was sentenced to 20 years in prison for reckless homicide after killing 48-year-old Summerville Police Department Officer William Bell and 27-year-old Berkeley County Sheriff's Office Deputy Marion Wright on Highway 17-A in 2002.

Reports stated Nelson, driving on a suspended license, fled the scene following the collision and later admitted to being on prescription drugs at the time.

Bell's son-in-law Doug Wright, also a Summerville police officer, will never forget when the call came over his police radio. "I heard the call go out, but I didn't realize it was him, my father-in-law William Bell," said Wright.

"He graduated the academy in January and was dead in November," said Wright. "It was a bad, a bad night and it's embossed in my mind probably forever."

Because the crime was ruled "non-violent" by the justice system, Nelson is not required to serve 85% of his sentence, and he first became eligible for parole in 2008.

Many of the officers' colleagues, friends, and family attended the hearing on their behalf.

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