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Flint man found guilty of killing Hamady school worker

Originally published by Mlive.com on October 18, 2013

FLINT, MI -- A Flint man has been found guilty of killing his girlfriend at her north Flint home last summer.

Cleophis Hall was found guilty Thursday, Oct. 17, of first-degree murder, felon in possession of a firearm and felony firearm after he shot and killed 49-year-old Joyce Nelson. Jurors issued the verdict after a six-day trial.

Nelson, who was a behavior coordinator at Hamady Middle/High School, was found dead outside of her home on Van Wagoner Avenue on June 21, 2012.

"This was truly a tragic case where an innocent victim was shot by her jealous boyfriend," said Genesee County Prosecutor David Leyton. "We are very pleased that the jury returned a verdict to help bring some sense of justice to this very sad and tragic incident."

Nelson's neighbor, Emma Hasan, testified during a preliminary exam that she was watching TV in her bedroom around 4:30 a.m. when she heard a gunshot and saw Nelson in the driveway across the street, struggling to get up.

After calling 911, and another neighbor, Hasan said she got dressed and went across the street to check on her neighbor, who she had spoken to in the past but didn't know by name.

"She didn't say a word," Hasan, said of the fatally-injured woman.

Hasan said the injured woman moved slightly but remained silent while paramedics were on the scene. She also noted that the woman had what appeared to be a gunshot wound to the chest.

Flint Police said Hall, 55, who had blood on him at the time, turned himself in to authorities after the shooting. Hall had driven a red Chevrolet Blazer to the police station, authorities say.

Hasan said a red Chevrolet Blazer was at her neighbor's home when she was shot, but was gone by the time paramedics arrived.

She also said she saw what she believed to be a rifle outside of her neighbor's home.

Court records show that Hall has previous felony convictions in the 1980s for felonious assault and cruelty to children.

The case was tried by Special Assistant Attorney General Barney Whitesman, who is assigned to Leyton's office.

Hall will be sentenced to life in prison without parole Nov. 7.


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