Man acting as backup during fatal beating sentenced to jail, probation

Kevin Tracy
Kevin Tracy

District Judge Davis VanderVelde on Monday sentenced a 21-year-old man connected to the robbery that resulted in the brutal killing of Steven Nelson last year.

Kevin Tracy, of Nampa, pleaded guilty to aiding and abetting robbery and was ordered to serve six more months in jail and 10 years of probation for his role, according to KIVI Channel 6 News. If he violates his probation, he faces an underlying suspended sentence of 25 years in prison.

In exchange for his plea, prosecutors dropped additional charges of first-degree murder and conspiracy to commit robbery.

Tracy is accused of standing by as backup muscle while Kelly Schneider, 23, of Nampa, beat Nelson in the planned robbery on April 29, 2016.

Nelson, 49, met Schneider after responding to a false advertisement for a male escort. Nelson went to Gott’s Point at Lake Lowell under the assumption they were going to have sex, but instead he was robbed.

Schneider repeatedly kicked Nelson in the head with steel-toed boots while using gay slurs, stripped him naked, stole his wallet and car, and left him for dead. Nelson died a few hours later of cardiac arrest after having to walk naked to nearby homes for help.

Schneider was sentenced earlier this month to 28 years to life in prison after he pleaded guilty to first-degree murder in Canyon County and pleaded guilty to a hate crime in federal court.

Other co-defendants in the case included Jayson Woods and Daniel Henkel.

Woods, 28, of Nampa, was sentenced this month to 23 years to life in prison after being convicted of first-degree murder, robbery, conspiracy to commit robbery and accepting the earnings of a prostitute. He is the “mastermind” behind the attack and engineered the plan to lure Nelson out in order to rob him.

Henkel, 23, of Wilder, also is accused of standing by to help Schneider in case Nelson fought back and has pleaded guilty to aiding and abetting robbery. He is set for sentencing at 10:30 a.m. May 8.