When an Allen Superior Court jury found Carmell Nelson guilty of attempted murder Wednesday afternoon, the 31-year-old slouched in his chair and smirked at a detective.
Moments later, Nelson's victim, Rovon Wilson, pointed him out again for the jury, this time for the jury to find him guilty of possessing a firearm as a convicted violent felon. Nelson smirked again and straightened his tie.
In a couple hours of deliberation, the seven-woman, five-man jury convicted Nelson of aggravated battery, attempted murder and unlawful possession of a firearm by a violent felon.
Nelson stood accused of shooting Wilson seven times in April 2011 as Wilson and his girlfriend waited outside Zambuca's on West Jefferson Boulevard. In the spring of 2000, Nelson put a gun to Wilson's head as the then 18-year-old walked home from school. The gun misfired and Nelson struck Wilson in the eyebrow with the butt of the gun.
On Tuesday, Wilson testified that he and his girlfriend had gotten a babysitter for their children and went out to a local club. When they got there, Wilson saw Nelson inside the bar. He told the jury he approached Nelson, telling him he had no problems with him and wanted no trouble that evening.
Nelson, however, had none of it, Wilson said.
After the two left for the evening, Wilson saw Nelson in the parking lot. Wilson and his girlfriend turned to go back inside to wait for their taxi, but Nelson approached them and fired a gun – striking Wilson in the hand, under his arm, his leg and his spine.
Wilson has been confined to a wheelchair since the shooting.
Nelson's attorney, Quinton Ellis, honed Wilson's conflicting statements to police in the moments and days after the shooting and misidentification of a mug shot presented to him in the hospital as evidence of Nelson's innocence.
Wilson told the jury Tuesday that he had been in tremendous pain and was not thinking clearly because of the strong painkillers he was taking while he recuperated in the hospital.
Before Judge John Surbeck began to read the final verdict in the firearm charge, Nelson started shaking his head.
Nelson could face more than 50 years in prison when he is sentenced next month. He has a prior felony conviction for battering Wilson in 2000, as well as a 2001 federal conviction for crack possession.