Man Pleads Guilty To Killing Sunday School Teacher In Del City - News9.com - Oklahoma City, OK - News, Weather, Video and Sports |

Man Pleads Guilty To Killing Sunday School Teacher In Del City

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James O'Berry James O'Berry
OKLAHOMA CITY -

Several family members and friends from the victim's church were in court Wednesday for the plea of James O'Berry.

The 55-year-old has a criminal history out of Alabama and is accused of stabbing and killing 26-year-old Nelly Pelts of Spencer, who he met at a Del City Walmart in February of 2010. He is also a convicted registered sex offender.

2/9/2010 Related Story: Police Reveal New Details in Sunday School Teacher's Murder

The victim's wheelchair bound mother, Jane Pelts, spoke softly as she addressed O'Berry in front of the judge. The crowd could not hear what she said to him, but District Attorney David Prater said she told O'Berry she forgave him.

The victim's sister in law, Cherra Taylor, also had a chance to address O'Berry. She says her sister never held a grudge against anybody and would have forgiven him, so she said that she forgives him and hopes that he finds God in prison.

The victims father, Neil Pelts, also told O'Berry he forgives him and hopes that he is saved in prison.

O'Berry addressed the family and said he was saved as a young boy. He says it hurts him so bad what happened to Nelly. He said he asked for a deal to die for her murder, not life. He says he doesn't understand why this happened, said he is a member of the Assembly of God. He read a letter he wrote to the family, says you can't describe the sorrow he has for taking the life of a sister of God, this incomprehensible act. He asked the family to please forgive him and asked God to keep them. He said when he dies he knows he's going to heaven and see Nelly, and will ask her forgiveness then. Both Nelly's mother and sister-in-law held hands and cried.

O'Berry entered a plea of guilty. He is accepting a plea of guilty in exchange for a sentence of life without parole. He is giving up his right to a jury trial. The DA could have sought the death penalty.

According to past reports, O'Berry admits he met the 26-year-old victim, Nelly Pelts, inside the Del City Walmart at about 12:20 a.m. Saturday February 6, 2010. Video shows O'Berry approaching Pelts and were both shown leaving the store at 12:35 a.m. Pelts was murdered at 12:51 a.m.

Family members of Pelts describe her as a devout Christian who took every opportunity to share the word of God and her church. It was not uncommon for Pelts to shop at Walmart late in the evening and witness to individuals.

She also was so proud of her church that if anyone showed an interest, she would take them to the church location, according to her family. Pelts' church was adjacent to the murder scene.

During an interview with Detective Karl Landers, O'Berry admits to randomly meeting her at the Walmart in Del City, striking up a conversation and then leaving with her. O'Berry said that the last thing he recalls is standing across the street from Pelts' church talking with her outside their cars and then "blacking out."

The next thing he said he remembers is being inside his mobile home, covered in blood. Pelts not only was struck by O'Berry's car, but she had been stabbed several times, according to police. This information was not originally released because of its critical nature to the investigation.

Investigators recovered O'Berry's clothing which had been discarded and dumped in a trash bin near Interstate 35 and S.W. 44th Street.

Search warrants have been conducted on O'Berry's home and car, where additional evidence was recovered. O'Berry had changed his appearance by cutting his hair and also suffered a laceration to his left arm during the attack which required medical treatment prior to him being jailed.

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