Family of Kidnapped, Murdered Teen Says Justice System Failed - News9.com - Oklahoma City, OK - News, Weather, Video and Sports |

Family of Kidnapped, Murdered Teen Says Justice System Failed

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Five years ago Taylor Heintzelman was kidnapped, blindfolded and shot along a dirt road in South Oklahoma City. Five years ago Taylor Heintzelman was kidnapped, blindfolded and shot along a dirt road in South Oklahoma City.
William Nelson, one of the men accused Taylor's murder, accepted a plea deal on Friday of 15 years for accessory to first-degree murder. William Nelson, one of the men accused Taylor's murder, accepted a plea deal on Friday of 15 years for accessory to first-degree murder.
Taylor's family has been fighting for justice and said Nelson, who they called the mastermind behind Taylor's murder, should have received a harsher sentence. Taylor's family has been fighting for justice and said Nelson, who they called the mastermind behind Taylor's murder, should have received a harsher sentence.
Taylor's family said Michael Emami, who helped abduct Taylor, received a 10 year sentence but is up for parole in September. Taylor's family said Michael Emami, who helped abduct Taylor, received a 10 year sentence but is up for parole in September.

By Colleen Chen, NEWS 9

OKLAHOMA CITY -- Taylor Heintzelman was kidnapped, blindfolded, and shot to death five years ago. He was only 17-years-old, and his family has been fighting for justice ever since.

LaDonna Heintzelman is Taylor's mom and said Cleveland County District Attorneys failed her family Friday.

William Nelson, one of the men accused in the crime, accepted a plea deal on Friday. Nelson was charged with accessory to murder and prosecutors offered him a deal of 15 years in prison to plead guilty. The Heintzelman family said the punishment does not fit the crime. They believe Nelson was the mastermind behind the murder.

Back in 2005, Taylor Heintzelman was living with Nelson. Nelson reportedly told a man named Blake Booth he wanted Taylor out of the home. Booth and a man named Michael Emami kidnapped Taylor. Booth is serving a life sentence for pulling the trigger.

"Taylor died a very violent death. Nelson planned it. He brought the others in. He convinced them to do it. Not only did he take my son's life, but he also ruined Booth and Emami's life. Their families should be outraged," LaDonna Heintzelman said.

Assistant District Attorney David Brockman said prosecutors did what they felt was right.

"I fully understand the family is unhappy. I know the Heintzelmans wanted more. We did what we believe is the right thing. I believe he's responsible for starting the ball rolling, but I am not prepared to say he is responsible for the actual murder," Brockman said.

Prosecutors said there was evidence supporting both sides and a lot of witnesses were not credible because they were involved with drugs at the time of the crime.

LaDonna Heintzelman said Nelson has admitted guilt before.

"He discussed it. One man in particular said he went to work the next day and point blank told him my roommate won't be coming home. I had him killed," LaDonna Heintzelman said. "It's upsetting that the defendant has a right to a trial but the victim doesn't. The victim's family doesn't. That needs to change."

Taylor's family said what is most upsetting is the little amount of time Nelson will likely serve in prison.

"Fifteen years is only two or three or four years at the most, and he'll be back on the street out with everybody's kids," LaDonna Heintzelman said.

That's because Nelson will get credit for the 14 months he's already served awaiting trial, and because accessory to murder does not qualify for a violent crime, Nelson could qualify for parole before he serves 85 percent of his sentence.

"We've been here before. Mr. Emami got 10 years. I don't think he's been gone two years yet and he comes up for parole first part of September, so that's the reality of it," LaDonna Heintzelman said.

Nelson's trial was supposed to begin on Monday.

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