Father accused of corruption, endangerment after New Year's Eve shooting

Shawn Hardy

The father of the teen accused of killing a fellow Greencastle-Antrim High School student on New Year's Eve was charged early last week in connection with the deadly incident.

Pennsylvania State Police say Mark Alan Nelson, 52, was drunk and allowed three teens to drink alcohol while there were guns and ammunition all over the home at 431 W. Baltimore St., Apt. D, the night Taylor Alan Nelson, then 15, allegedly shot and killed 17-year-old Matthew Mitchell. A 16-year-old was on the scene, too, according to police who said Mark Nelson also had marijuana in his system.

Mark Nelson's address is now listed as 45 Strawberry Court, Carlisle, on the affidavit of probable cause filed in the office of Magisterial District Judge Duane Cunningham.

He is charged with endangering the welfare of children, corruption of minors and recklessly endangering another person.

Taylor Nelson, who turned 16 on Feb. 1, is charged as an adult with criminal homicide. He entered a not guilty plea Feb. 15 by waiving his mandatory arraignment in Franklin County Court.

According to the affidavit of probable cause filed against Taylor Nelson, he got a gun from his father's nightstand to "scare" Mitchell, who reportedly had been picking on him. Taylor Nelson chambered a round to further scare Mitchell, dropped the magazine out of the gun and eventually pointed it at Mitchell's forehead and pulled the trigger.

Mitchell died at the scene of the shooting reported around 10 p.m. on Dec. 31, 2016.

*** Allegations against father ***

The affidavit filed against Mark Nelson says the home was searched and "there were numerous long guns and ammo all through the three story townhouse. There were long guns under the futon, on beds, against the wall and in an opened safe. There were various calibers and types of ammo in every room of the house to include but not limited to on the floor, under the sink, in drawers, on counters and in trash cans. Multiple handguns were also found in the residence. None of these guns was locked up or secured.

"In the room where the homicide occurred, there was an opened door safe containing numerous long guns and long guns outside the safe. There was also a cross bow on the floor and various types of ammo on the floor and on the computer desk.

"During the investigation into the homicide, it became very clear that alcohol and marijuana played a part in the incident that occurred on 12/31/16. During an interview with TN, he admitted to drinking Mark Nelson's alcohol and admitted that Mark Nelson knew that he and the other two juveniles were consuming alcohol.

"Mark Nelson was intoxicated on the night of 12/31/16," according to the affidavit. The document said his blood alcohol content was .123, which is about one and a half times the legal limit for driving. In addition, he tested positive for marijuana.