James Nelson, 48, who was sentenced by U.S. Dist. Court Judge Sheryl Lipman, pled guilty earlier to being a felon in possession of a firearm stemming from the shooting death of his former girlfriend two years ago.
He has several previous felony convictions involving drugs, guns, and violent crimes, including a voluntary manslaughter conviction in 1996 in the shooting death of his sister.
The judge on Monday sentenced him to the maximum 405 months, or just over 33 years in federal prison where there is no parole.
In state Criminal Court, Nelson is charged with first-degree murder of Keysha Caldwell, 43, who was shot to death on Sept. 15, 2017, in front of their teenage daughter in the 1400 block of Gaither St. near Mississippi Boulevard. His next court date is Friday.
The case was investigated by the Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) Task Force, which includes the U.S. Attorney’s Office; the Shelby County District Attorney’s Office; the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF); the Memphis Police Department; and the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office, who have all joined together to address gun-related crimes through targeted investigations and aggressive prosecution.
Special Assistant U.S. Atty. Samuel D. Winnig prosecuted this case on behalf of the government. SAUSA Winnig is currently assigned from the Shelby County District Attorney General’s Office for the purpose of prosecuting violent crimes and firearms offenses in federal court.