Thu. Mar 30th, 2023

Susan Kang Schroeder, Chief of Staff, Office: 714-347-8408, Cell: 714-292-2718
Farrah Emami, Spokesperson, Office: 714-347-8405, Cell: 714-323-4486


SANTA ANA – Orange County District Attorney (OCDA) Tony Rackauckas is opposing the parole of a woman who killed her husband of three weeks over Thanksgiving weekend in 1991 by dismembering, disemboweling, cooking and freezing his body. Omaima Aree Nelson, 43, is currently being held at the Central California Women’s Facility in Chowchilla, CA.

Nelson was sentenced March 18, 1993, to 25 years to life for second degree murder, with a sentencing enhancement for personal use of a knife and, in a separate incident, assault with a firearm. Nelson is scheduled for a parole hearing tomorrow, Oct. 5, 2011, at 10:30 a.m., at the prison before the Board of Parole Hearings, California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitations.

Orange County Senior Deputy District Attorney Randy Pawloski, who originally prosecuted the case, will appear to oppose Nelson’s parole.

Facts of the Case

Nelson met her husband, 56-year-old William Nelson, two months before getting married in November 1991. Over Thanksgiving weekend, between Nov. 28, 1991, and Nov. 30, 1991, after three weeks of marriage, she murdered and dismembered William Nelson. She cut off the victim’s genitals and then cooked the victim’s decapitated head and placed it in the freezer. She boiled William Nelson’s hands in oil. She used the garbage disposal to dispose of much of the body, and other body parts were thrown out in the apartment building dumpster. Several body parts were found in the trunk of a car and in the apartment.

Nelson was arrested on Dec. 1, 1991, by the Costa Mesa Police Department after she contacted an acquaintance to help her dispose of the body. During the trial, Nelson gave varying and conflicting statements as to what had happened. The jury rejected her claim that her husband repeatedly beat and raped her. Subsequent medical examinations and photographs showed no signs of abuse or injuries to the inmate other than those sustained while dismembering the victim.

Extensive Criminal History

The defendant was previously convicted of several crimes including two counts of auto theft and shoplifting on Dec. 10, 1987, hit and run with property damage on July 31, 1989, shoplifting and battery for biting a security officer on July 10, 1989, driving under the influence on Jan. 24, 1990, driving without license on June 17, 1990, and assault with firearm in November 1990.

Nelson has been cited for seven major rule violations while incarcerated between 1993 and 2005 including fighting in the dayroom, battery on a staff member, hiding contraband, stealing donated headphones, two citations for mutual combat, and failure to comply with instructions. She was also cited for eight minor rule violations between 1995 and 2004 including disturbing class by getting into a verbal argument, being in possession of unissued property, being out of bounds, failure to report to class, failure to report to an assigned job, using the telephone at an unassigned time, laying on her bunk while prison staff took count of inmates, and not being in compliance with grooming standards.

Inmate’s Lack of Rehabilitation and Remorse and Continued Threat to Public Safety

The OCDA’s parole opposition letter states that the murder was “carried out in an especially heinous, atrocious, cruel and callous manner. The victim was defiled and mutilated after the offense, and the motive for the crime was inexplicable.”

The inmate has failed to complete any educational or vocational classes while incarcerated and has failed to abide by prison rules. Her extensive criminal history and prison violations not only indicate an escalating pattern of criminal conduct and violence, but also demonstrate the inmate’s failure to rehabilitate. Nelson has never taken responsibility for the crime and insists that she murdered, decapitated, dismembered, and disemboweled William Nelson in self-defense.

She has never expressed any remorse. Her lack of rehabilitation and remorse make her a threat to public safety if released from state prison.


TONY RACKAUCKAS, District Attorney • 401 Civic Center Drive West, Santa Ana, CA 92701

By Editor

The New Santa Ana blog has been covering news, events and politics in Santa Ana since 2009.

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