Slain Man Had Another Wife, Records Show


In a bizarre twist to an already strange tale, a convicted marijuana smuggler, who was allegedly stabbed and hacked to death by his wife of five weeks, was still married to a woman in Santa Barbara County at the time of his death, records show.

William E. Nelson, 56, who was on parole after a prison sentence for smuggling marijuana, had a divorce pending from Katherine Nelson, who lives in Santa Maria.

She filed for the divorce in 1990 while Nelson was in the federal penitentiary in Lompoc, also in Santa Barbara County.

The presence of another wife gives investigators another unsettling piece of the puzzle surrounding Nelson’s death.


Police discovered his dismembered body Monday in the apartment he had been sharing with Omaima Aree Nelson, 23.

She has been arrested on suspicion of stabbing him to death and then cutting up his body. Police said his remains were found in several plastic trash bags stored at the apartment and inside his red 1975 Corvette.

She is being held without bail in the Orange County Jail.

When the divorce petition was filed, William Nelson was in prison for a 1984 conviction for smuggling marijuana in Texas, said Joni L. Gray, attorney for Katherine Nelson.


“They had been to court only one time” in the divorce case, Gray said. “Much of the delay was because he was still in prison.”

He was released last July.

Acquaintances said Nelson met Omaima Aree Stainbrook, an immigrant from Egypt, at a Costa Mesa-area bar about five weeks ago. After a whirlwind romance, the couple married about a month ago. After the wedding, they headed for Laredo, Tex., for business and pleasure, friends said.

According to friends and former boyfriends, Omaima Stainbrook Nelson tried to take advantage of older, financially secure men who let themselves fall victim to the thrill of dating a younger woman.


“She was looking for guys to take care of her,” said a 61-year-old man from Huntington Beach who once dated her.

Authorities said William Nelson once had a lucrative business smuggling electronic goods into Mexico aboard transport planes he kept at the international airport in Laredo.