Trial of woman accused of killing Houston boy set to begin

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HOUSTON - Pre-trial motions were held Monday in the case of a woman accused of killing a 12-year-old boy almost three years ago.

Mona Nelson is charged with capital murder.

Nelson is accused of kidnapping Jonathan Foster on Christmas Eve of 2010. Investigators say she killed him and burned his body. Homicide investigators believe she used welding equipment.

Jonathan's body was found in a ditch in Northeast Houston several days after he disappeared.

Detectives say they received a break in the case after seeing Nelson's vehicle from surveillance footage where the body was found.

Nelson claims the boy's stepfather paid her $20 to dispose of a container, only to later find out it was the boy's body.

Opening statements are scheduled to begin Tuesday.

Nelson has requested a bench trial, so there will not be a jury. A judge will decide her fate.

Her defense counsel Allen Tanner said he advised against a bench trial.

"She's a strong minded woman and she said I just want the judge to hear my case and make a decision. I would have preferred to have a jury just because you have some jurors that look at things and see things that other jurors didn't see," said Tanner.  "I think it's always better to have 12 people."

Tanner also said he filed a motion to suppress because he believes some of Nelson's statements to police should not be allowed in the trial. 

"We feel the police conduct when they were interviewing Ms. Nelson was improper and we're pointing that out to the court," Tanner said. 

Prosecutors did not want to comment.

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