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Petition opposing parole for convicted Kenosha County murder collects over 2,000 signatures in 10 days

Posted at 8:09 PM, Apr 11, 2019

A petition drive opposing parole for a convicted Kenosha County murderer has received over 2,000 signatures in the first 10 days.

Nearly 2,400 people have signed the petition to keep Eric S. Nelson behind bars.

Nelson was convicted for the murder of a 42-year-old man three decades ago in the Village of Bristol.

Nelson shot and killed Joseph Vite with Vite's foster son Daniel Dower after finding inspiration from the fantasy role-playing game Dungeons and Dragons.

Nelson and Dower were 16-years-old at the time.

Kenosha County Executive Jim Kreuser set a goal to reach 1,000 signatures by May 10. That goal was was met the day after the petition went live on April 2.

Kreuser and Kenosha County District Attorney Michael Graveley have joined the family of Joseph Vite in opposing Nelson's release. Kreuser sent a letter to more than 250 elected Wisconsin officials urging them to sign the petition.

"I feel strongly about this issue, as do District Attorney Graveley and the Vite family," Kreuser said. "And I think it's very important that we send a clear message to the Parole Commission, that Eric Nelson is a dangerous individual who doesn't belong out of prison."

Graveley says he believes Nelson is still dangerous.

"This is an individual we need to be protected from now as we did in 1985," he said. "I don't think there's any credible way to say a heinous act such as this one that we can say, even with the passage of time, would not pose an unreasonable risk to the public. I am opposed to the release of Eric Nelson."

Nelson was recently moved to a minimum-security, pre-release facility near Green Bay.

The new goal for the petition is 4,500 signatures by Nelson's parole hearing. To sign the petition to keep him behind bars, click here.