Police: Harrington man stabs wife, dog to death

November 22, 2021

A Harrington man was charged with murder Nov. 21 after police say he stabbed his wife and dog to death.

Police responded at 11:51 a.m. to a home in the 100 block of E Lucky Estates Drive, Harrington, after the Kent County Emergency Operations Center received a call from a man who said he had killed his wife and dog, said Master Cpl. Gary Fournier of the Delaware State Police.

A Harrington police officer arrived at the scene first and entered the home through a partially open garage door. Once inside, Fournier said, the officer saw a woman on the floor in a pool of blood. The officer backed out of the garage to wait for responding troopers and while he was waiting, Fournier said, Richard Nelson, 69, exited the garage and was taken into custody without incident.

When troopers and detectives arrived and entered the home, Fournier said, they confirmed the victim, Sandra M. Nelson, 74, had been stabbed numerous times in the garage; she was pronounced dead by Kent County Paramedics. She was transported to the Delaware Division of Forensic Science where an autopsy will be performed to determine the exact cause and manner of death. A family dog was also located dead in a bedroom of the house and appeared to have been stabbed to death as well, Fournier said.

Nelson was transported to Troop 3 in Camden where he was charged with first-degree murder, possession of a deadly weapon during the commission of a felony, and cruelly or unnecessarily killing or injuring an animal. He was arraigned at Justice of the Peace Court 7 and committed to Sussex Correctional Institution in default of $522,000 cash bond.

The Delaware State Police Homicide Unit investigation remains active and ongoing. Anyone with information regarding the incident is asked to contact Detective D. Grassi at 302-365-8441, or Delaware Crime Stoppers at 1-800-TIP-3333 or

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