53 year-old David Wayne Nelson, the man who has already confessed to the murder of a mother and her adult son in Powell County, appeared in Ravalli County District Court on Wednesday to face charges that he violated parole in an earlier case.

Ravalli County Attorney Bill Fulbright said Nelson made his initial appearance to hear a request that his probationary status be revoked on his 1998 prison sentence.

"He entered a denial, which is the same as a not guilty plea," Fulbright said. "A full hearing will be held in the coming weeks. He continues to be held in the Ravalli County Jail without bail. He will either be held here or in Powell County, depending on what happens in the Powell County case."

Fulbright said Nelson has already confessed to the murders of 79 year-old Beverly Giannonatti and her 57 year-old son Gregory, but also to selling several bars of stolen silver to a Missoula business.

"Reports that we have from Powell County Sheriff Howard is that he did confess to committing those homicides, and not only provide the location of where those bodies were disposed, but apparently took Powell County officials to that location, enabling them to recover those bodies," he said.

When asked if the egregious nature of the murders in Powell County might qualify for the death penalty, Fulbright said that would be up to the officials in Deer Lodge.

"Legally, the death penalty is available as an option," said Fulbright. "Whether it qualifies and would be the way they choose to go, I can't say. I don't know enough about the details of the investigation to know if there are enough aggravating circumstances. Here in Ravalli County, we only have the five years in prison time left on his sentence, for which he is still on probation."

Fulbright said Nelson was on probation for a idnapping and robbery that occurred in 1999.




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