Police detail gruesome murder of Arlington pastor, arrest suspects

Crime, Law and JusticeCrimeHomicideChristianityTheftBaptistSocial Issues

It was a somber moment when members of First Baptist Church of Arlington embraced Arlington police, after learning gruesome details about how Pastor Clint Dobson, was killed.

"We are just hurting and truly heartbroken," said Kurt Krold.

Investigators say Dobson, 28, was suffocated with a plastic bag last week, while he prepared a Sunday sermon at NorthPointe Baptist Church. Police say his assistant, Judy Elliott, 67, who was nearly beaten to death, still hasn't been able to tell them how the attack happened. Church members say Elliott typically buzzed people into the locked building.

"We are anxiously waiting to talk to her so that she can tell us the circumstances and what happened," said Arlington Police Deputy Chief, Jaime Ayala.

Police may not know how the crime happened, but they believe they have arrested the killers. Steven Nelson and Gregory Springs were taken into custody during seperate arrests in Arlington. Nelson has a long criminal history, dating back to his early teen years. He is currently on probation in Dallas County for assault with a deadly weapon. Police say the men were arrested after a vital tip.

"This was truly a crime that was solved by public involvement," Arlington police, Deputy Chief, Barry Hines, said.

Police say the men displayed a cavalier attitude after the murder. Court records indicate the men were "laughing and making inappropriate comments about Dobson," after seeing a news report about his murder. The two women who say they heard the men joking, were the ones, records show, who turned them in.

Police still believe robbery is the motive for the crime. Investigators say just moments after the murder, the men went shopping at Parks Mall in Arlington, where they used the victim's stolen credit cards to buy jewelry and shoes. The manager of the shoe store, where the men bought items said he was not allowed to comment,

Call say they too are still baffled by the cruel and senseless crime.

"Many times they don't make sense, until you know the underlying reasons," Deputy Chief, Ayala, shared.

The suspects are both charged with capital murder, which could carry the death penalty. Dobson, who was newly married, will be laid to rest Wednesday.

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
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