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Fatality case heads to grand jury

BY WILL PINKSTON wpinkston@paducahsun.com

Prosecutors intend to submit a case to the grand jury against a Murray man accused of causing a fatal Thanksgiving Day collision.

Jeffrey Nelson, 49, was scheduled to appear in Marshall District Court in Benton on Wednesday for a preliminary hearing on manslaughter and DUI charges stemming from a Nov. 28 wreck in Aurora that killed Magean McCoy, 23, of Murray. Nelson was unable to appear because he's incarcerated in Williamson County, Ill., and awaiting court appearances on separate charges.

While Williamson County resolves its case against Nelson, Commonwealth Attorney Mark Blankenship said Wednesday that he intends to directly submit the case to the upcoming Marshall County grand jury on Jan. 16 without the preliminary hearing.

Blankenship said Nelson can still request a preliminary hearing in the event of an indictment, but Blankenship didn't consider that course of events likely.

Nelson is accused of killing McCoy in a drunken driving wreck in southern Marshall County. The sheriff's office reported Nelson was driving the wrong way on Ky. 80 in Aurora when he struck McCoy's vehicle as she tried to turn onto U.S. 68.

Deputies reportedly administered a field sobriety test  to Nelson - which he failed, they say - before he was taken to Marshall County Hospital for additional blood testing. The samples were sent to the state police lab and results have not come back, Blankenship said.

In December, Nelson was granted a furlough order and permitted to leave jail to attend his mother's funeral in Georgia. Under a signed agreement, he was to return to jail on Dec. 6. Instead, Nelson continued into southern Illinois where Marion police later arrested him in possession of a vehicle reported stolen from the Pilot Truck Stop in Marion.

Nelson is in Williamson County Jail awaiting a preliminary hearing in the Illinois court on Monday.

Blankenship said he will ask the grand jury to consider Nelson's actions on Dec. 6 and an additional bail jumping or escape charge is likely.


Contact Will Pinkston, a Paducah Sun staff writer, at 270-575-8676 or follow @WCPinkston on Twitter.

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