Court upholds conviction, sentence in 2009 manslaughter case

LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - The 3rd Circuit Court of Appeal has upheld the conviction and sentence of a Florida man who killed another man outside a Sulphur nightclub in March 2009.

David Nelson, 33, was found guilty of manslaughter in the death of 19-year-old Chad Heath.

Authorities said Nelson was leaving the Plantation Club in Sulphur when he hit Heath, who was standing in the parking lot.

Heath then fell backward onto the pavement and fractured his skull, authorities said. He died days later.

Nelson was sentenced to serve 30 years at hard labor.

In Nelson's appeal, defense attorneys asserted that the district court made several errors in their ruling. They also claimed his sentence was excessive.

The appeal court, however, found that his sentence was not excessive and said the claims of errors lacked merit.

Copyright 2013 KPLC. All rights reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.