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Ex-model who ate husband's body parts claimed to be battered wife

September 30, 2011 |  7:34 am

A former model, convicted nearly two decades ago of killing her husband and then cooking and eating parts of his body, has long claimed she was the victim of domestic violence that pushed her over the edge.

Omaima Aree Nelson is seeking early release from her 27-years-to-life sentence for murdering William E. Nelson, 56, over Thanksgiving weekend in 1991.

According to prosecutors, Nelson was the first defendant to used the "battered wife" defense in Orange County, claiming her husband raped her the night before she killed him.

Former Costa Mesa Police Sgt. Bob Phillips, then the lead detective in the case, said Nelson had an odd demeanor during hours of interviewing. "It was the most gruesome case I saw," said Phillips, who was with the department for 32 years. "She did not seem like a person that was coherent."

The parole hearing for Nelson, an Egyptian model who immigrated to the U.S. in 1986, is scheduled for Wednesday at Chowchilla State Prison in Central California, where she's incarcerated.

Nelson was in her 20s when she killed her husband, three decades her senior, and then dismembered and cooked parts of his body in their Costa Mesa apartment. The couple had been married for about a month.

After the murder, Nelson cooked her husband's head on the stove, skinned his torso, fried his hands in oil and planned to leave his skull in the back bay, according to the Daily Pilot.


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-- Lauren Williams, Times Community News