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Press: Suspect Cleared in Waterson Murder

Sunday, July 18, 2004
Oxford Eagle

By KELLY SHACKLEFORD
Staff Writer

Student Released After Evidence Indicates Innocence

University of Mississippi student Hunter Nelson, 21, was released by the Yoknapatawpha County Sheriff's Department on Saturday, July 17th, after new evidence surfaced that removed suspicions concerning his alleged involvement in the murder of Kristi Waterson. Nelson was arrested on June 29th, 2004 and had been held since that time.

At press time, the Yoknapatawpha County Sheriff's Department would not comment on the evidence that led to Nelson's release. However, the department's Public Information Officer Elizabeth Jones said "Hunter Nelson has been released. We appreciate his cooperation in our investigation and we stand resolved to do everything necessary to bring the killer to justice." Jones would not comment on allegations that Nelson has filed a lawsuit accusing the Sheriff's Department of botching the investigation and holding him without just cause.

On May 23, 2004, University of Mississippi business professor Kristi Waterson was found dead at her apartment in Oxford. After Waterson's death was announced, rumor and innuendo swirled on campus as students and teachers alike discussed alleged improper relationships Waterson maintained with her students. The victim's parents, Michael and Virginia Waterson of Biloxi, have offered a $75,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the murderer.

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