NEW MEXICO (KRQE) – Federal prosecutors are asking a judge to sentence a man for shooting a state police officer to decades in prison. On Thursday, prosecutors laid out a lengthy argument as to why, including his choice of what he was watching online.
In 2020, State Police Officer Sharron Duran was conducting a traffic stop on the side of I-40 near the Laguna Pueblo. Robert Nelson was traveling through New Mexico when he was pulled over for tailgating his parent’s trailer.
Officer Duran approached his car and Nelson immediately opened fire on her. “I’m in pursuit, I’ve been hit, I’ve been hit,” Duran said in a newly released lapel video.
His federal trial ended in a mistrial, then he accepted a plea deal in the case in March of this year. “I wasn’t sure where I got hit or how bad my injuries were,” Officer Duran said during a hearing. “All I know is I wasn’t ready to die.”
And since Officer Duran was commissioned with a federal drug task force at the time, Nelson was federally charged with attempted murder. “I’ll wait for my lawyer,” Nelson says in the lapel video.
Prosecutors write in their sentencing report that the defendant trained himself to fear and hate police over the years. Through his choice of which media to consume or which online content he would give his atten, he watched a hundred hours of anti-police videos.
His malice aforethought upon beginning any police encounter with gunfire should bring a higher sentence. The United States is asking the judge to sentence Nelson to 20 years for the attempted murder of a federal agent and then another 10 years to run consecutively for Nelson discharging a firearm during the commission of that crime.
Robert Nelson’s attorney is asking for no time for the attempted murder plea and just time for the discharging of a weapon charge. “Unbelievable how brave shw was that day,” says a fellow officer of Duran. “She didn’t even have an opportunity to talk to the man. Based on the video, the window didn’t even come down.”
Nelson is scheduled to be sentenced next week in federal court.