Man under arrest for murder of retired Dallas firefighter

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by DEBBIE DENMON / WFAA-TV

wfaa.com

Posted on March 31, 2010 at 6:21 PM

Updated Wednesday, Mar 31 at 6:42 PM

DALLAS — Dallas police have arrested 25-year-old Isaac T. Butler on capital murder charges in the shooting death of Joseph A. Nelson Sr.

Nelson had recently retired after 32 years at Dallas Fire-Rescue working at four different fire stations.

Nelson was shot down outside his car in the 3300 block of Springview Avenue on March 17 around 1:30 a.m.

"There's no reason that he could actually describe a reason to actually take my father's life," said Joseph Nelson Jr., the victim's son. "Whether he had money in his pocket or some jewelry or a necklace or anything that he had — whether it his car or anything — there's nothing worth my father's life."

It has not been determined why the shooting victim, a Lancaster resident, was in the East Oak Cliff neighborhood at 1:30 in the morning.

Investigators have ruled robbery as the motive of the killing. Officers said they linked Butler to the shooting through forensic evidence.

Homicide detectives said Butler allegedly murdered another man two days after killing the retired firefighter.

Officers found 40 shell casings each at both murder scenes, and have allegedly linked that evidence to Butler's gun.

Witnesses gave police descriptions of the suspect and his vehicle — a large four-door sedan — and placed both at each of the murder locations.

Dallas police continue to search for a second suspect in Nelson's murder. Detectives believe that person was sitting in Butler's vehicle when the robbery and murder took place.

If you have any information, contact Dallas police.

E-mail ddenmon@wfaa.com

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