Wednesday, July 14, 2004
Oxford Flyer Weekly
By Carl Crawford
Eyewitnesses, forensic evidence link popular
student to teacher's death
A well-known Ole Miss student body leader has been arrested in
the strangulation murder of University of Mississippi Instructor
Kristi Waterson. The Yoknapatawpha County District Attorney's office
has filed murder charges against Nathaniel "Hunter" Nelson,
President of Delta Tau Chi Fraternity.
Ms. Waterson was found murdered in her apartment on May 23, 2004.
It initially appeared that Waterson was a suicide victim, but
examination by the Yoknapatawpha County Coroner's Officer resulted
in a ruling of homicide. She was the daughter of Michael and
Virginia Waterson of Biloxi. Through the family attorney, the
Waterson family offered a $75,000 reward for information leading to
the arrest of their daughter's killer. No one has yet stepped
forward to claim the money.
Sources following the investigation revealed that witnesses have
placed Nelson near Ms. Waterson's apartment on the night of her
murder, and that trace evidence linking the victim to the suspect
was located during a search of Nelson's residence and car.
Reportedly, there was a lack of evidence at the scene, causing
speculation that either that Ms. Waterson was killed somewhere else
and her body brought to her apartment, or that the killer somehow
took precautions to avoid leaving evidence or cleaned up and removed
evidence after the crime, perhaps with an accomplice.
While the Sheriff's Department offered no comment on the case
against Mr. Nelson, sources close to the investigation say evidence
suggests Nelson and the victim were once romantically involved, even
though such relationships are strongly discouraged by the
"Hunter did what he wanted," said a UM senior who asked to remain
anonymous. "Everybody knows that students aren't supposed to date
the faculty," the student went on, "but Hunter never met a rule he
didn't like to break, or couldn't throw enough money at avoid the
consequences. The rich are like that -- they get away with
And, according to several undergraduates, Nelson may not have
been the only student Waterson dated. "She wasn't shy about being
seen with whoever she liked," said one coed who asked to be
identified only as Wendy. "If that guy was a student, if it was
against the rules, too bad -- for the rules, not for her."
Nelson's parents, Beauregard and Lindsay Nelson of Natchez,
continue to support their son and proclaim his innocence. Through
their attorney, the family has stated, "It's an outrage. This is so
much conjecture on the part of the police that it's an insult to the
"What's an outrage is what the rich kids here at UM do and think
they can get away with," said one UM student who wished only to be
known as Will. He went on to say, "Even if Hunter didn't do it, I
bet there are a lot of students that have to scrape for every dime
who would be glad to see someone like him fry for it."