A Missouri man accused of murdering two Wisconsin brothers last year is seeking a new judge and a change of venue for his trial.
In a Zoom hearing on Monday, an attorney for Garland Joseph Nelson filed the motions. Nelson has been held without bail since July 26, 2019.
Nelson faces two counts of first-degree murder and several other charges in the deaths of Nick Diemel, 35, and Justin Diemel, 24, of Shawano County, WI, partners in a cattle operation. Court documents said the two traveled to Missouri last July to collect a $250,000 debt. The brothers were reported missing July 21 when they failed to show up for a flight home and did not answer their phones.
Caldwell County, MO, Sheriff Jerry Galloway announced charges against Nelson on Oct. 23, 2019, including two counts of first degree murder, two counts of abandonment of a corpse, tampering with physical evidence, unlawful possession of a firearm and armed criminal action.
According to a probable cause statement, Nelson shot the brothers, put their bodies in 55-gallon barrels and used a skid loader to move them one at a time from a barn to a pasture. There, he allegedly burned them using diesel fuel and an unknown liquid. Nelson told investigators he then dumped the remains on a manure pile and hid the barrels elsewhere on his property, about 70 miles northeast of Kansas City, MO. Their remains were found in Missouri and Nebraska.
The Diemel brothers operated Diemel Livestock, Navarino, Wisc., and they had business dealings with cattlemen in multiple states.
Nelson has a previous conviction for selling cattle that didn’t belong to him. According to a Department of Justice news release in 2016, Nelson was sentenced in federal court to two years in federal prison without parole “for a cattle fraud scheme that resulted in losses of more than $262,000 to his victims.”
Nelson reported to the Bureau of Prisons on Nov. 21, 2016, to begin serving that sentence.
In August of 2019, after Nelson had been arrested in connection with the Diemel case, he was charged in Bourbon County, Kan., with five counts of transporting diseased animals across state lines and endangering the food supply. The charges stem from alleged violations on May 1, 2020, more than two months before the Diemel brothers came to Caldwell County, MO., to visit Nelson’s farm.