A man convicted of a 1996 hatchet attack on a woman is back in jail after he was indicted earlier this by a Long County grand jury on rape and other new charges.
Calvin Nelson was arrested March 13, according to a letter obtained by the Courier.
The letter, which was from the district attorney’s office and sent to the alleged victim, stated Nelson’s case was brought before the Long County grand jury March 5.
The grand jury indicted Nelson on rape, aggravated assault, burglary, criminal attempt to commit a felony and public drunkenness.
He was arrested Feb. 7, 2017, after deputies from the Long County Sheriff’s Office allegedly found him lying in a ditch on Horsecreek Road by Stewart Pines Mobile Home Park around 5:45 a.m.
According to an incident report filed in Long County, deputies were dispatched to the area when someone called to report a suspicious vehicle. The report said Nelson’s car, a blue Mercury Grand Marquis, matched the description of a similar vehicle seen in the area the day before and suspected to be involved in a sexual abuse crime committed in the area.
The incident report on file noted that deputies found the car and then found Nelson. Nelson told police he was on his way home but stopped to urinate on the side of the road. When he saw the cops, he said he got scared and tried to hide, according to the report.
Nelson appeared intoxicated and submitted to a breath test, blowing a .08, the report said. He was taken to Tattnall County jail.
In his car cops allegedly found an open can of beer, an unrolled condom and his cell phone. During the investigation police also found a screwdriver in the ditch, authorities said.
The warrant alleged Nelson attempted to pry open a window of a home and cut a screen out of a window. The incident report said the damage appeared to be done with a screwdriver. Police also reportedly found a brown Case knife near the residence.
After his arrest Nelson was denied bond. However, his public defender, Brandon Clark, later filed a motion and bond was set at $10,000 cash or $20,000 property on May 23.
A few days later Nelson retained Kimberly L. Copeland, of Brunswick, as his attorney. She filed a new motion to have bond reduced which was granted on July 11. On Sept. 18, Nelson was released on his own recognizance.
Sheriff Craig Nobles had said the GBI was investigating the rape allegations. The GBI would not comment. A relative of the rape victim reached out to the Courier saying the family feared for their safety while Nelson was free. The relative said Nelson had told the victim he would return.
Nelson was nicknamed “Hatchet man of Hinesville,” after he attacked Mara Colon in the parking lot of Walmart in August, 1996. He was convicted of aggravated assault, kidnapping with bodily harm and armed robbery during a jury trial a year after the attack.
According to news articles, HPD also considered Nelson a person of interest for a similar attack on a woman behind the First United Methodist Church of Hinesville a week before Colon was attacked.
During Nelson’s trial, Liberty County Superior Court Judge Robert Russell sentenced Nelson to two consecutive life sentences without parole for the kidnapping and armed robbery and a 20-year concurrent sentence for the aggravated assault charge. However, Nelson won two appeals and had a resentencing hearing.
He was given 20 years and with credit for time served was released Sept. 7, 2016.
According to the Georgia Department of corrections, Nelson is a habitual offender and has been in and out of prison since 1973.