The Norman Transcript

September 9, 2007

Mother of murder victim 'thrilled' with arrest


Will Nelson charged in 2005 death of Taylor Heintzelman

By Tom Blakey

Transcript Staff Writer

LaDonna Heintzelman said she's "thrilled" the man who planned her son's death has been charged as an accessory to murder.

William Ross Nelson, 25, Oklahoma City, was charged Friday in the May 16, 2005, kidnapping and shooting death of 17-year-old Taylor Heintzelman.

Nelson was arrested Friday in Oklahoma City, and is in Oklahoma County Jail awaiting transfer to the Cleveland County Detention Center, officials said.

"I'm thrilled about it," Mrs. Heintzelman said. "It's been a long time coming and is something I've prayed and prayed about. (Cleveland County District Attorney) Greg Mashburn is a man of his word and I have a lot of respect for him."

According to a court affidavit, Nelson directed another man to dispose of Heintzelman's belongings and advised the killer to get rid of a gun, knowing that the gun had been used in the murder.

"Mr. Nelson called me the day that we found out that Taylor had been murdered. He knew things that hadn't been released yet. From the first call, I knew he was involved," she said.

According to previously filed documents, Nelson told police he was trying to get Heintzelman out of his house because Heintzelman was selling drugs. He asked Blake Booth for help, and Booth offered to get Heintzelman out of the house with the assistance of Michael "Mexican Mike" Emami. The men assaulted Heintzelman and abducted him from the south Oklahoma City residence May 15, 2005, binding his hands and stuffing his mouth with tape.

The next day, Heintzelman was taken to a location on South Portland Avenue, where he was executed while blindfolded, according to court testimony. He died of gunshot wounds to the temple and upper back, prosecutors said.

Mrs. Heintzelman said Nelson has given "inconsistent" accounts of what happened to Taylor.

"I think he was using Taylor to help in his drug business and Taylor was going to get out of it and move home. (Nelson) wasn't going to let that happen, with all Taylor knew, and had Taylor killed," she said.

The day of Taylor's death, Nelson called and told Mrs. Heintzelman he and Taylor had had a disagreement and Taylor had "packed up and moved out," she said.

But Mrs. Heintzelman said she later collected a "multitude of Taylor's clothes and personal belongings" from Nelson's house, including a pillow that was hers when she was a little girl.

"It was obvious (Taylor) hadn't packed up his things," she said.

When she learned Friday of Nelson's arrest, "I got chills all up my body," she said.

"He is the one person who is ultimately responsible for Taylor's death," she said. "I'm sure he thought he'd gotten away with it -- it's been over two years."

Mrs. Heintzelman said she's never been more excited to go to court. She was still "numb and in shock" over Taylor's death while attending court proceedings for Booth and Emami, she said.

Emami, 25, pleaded no contest Jan. 11 to an amended charge of accessory to kidnapping, and was given a five-year suspended sentence. The charge was reduced from first-degree murder after alibi evidence showed Emami was not at the scene of the murder, prosecutors said.

After being released from jail, Emami was arrested June 26 in Oklahoma County on charges of second-degree burglary and unauthorized use of a vehicle. He is in Oklahoma County Jail with proceedings pending in Oklahoma and Cleveland counties.

"I hope he goes to prison now," she said.

Booth, 22, pleaded guilty last May to first-degree murder in Taylor's death. He is serving a sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole.

"One by one they've charged the three people responsible for Taylor's death. Of course, there's a few more I'd like to see charged, but I don't know if that will happen or not," Mrs. Heintzelman said.

Tom Blakey 366-3540 tblakey@normantranscript.com