Crime

Trial date pushed back for man accused of fatal Lake Lowell beating

Kelly Schneider, 22, of Nampa is accused of repeatedly kicking Steven Nelson in the head with steel-toed boots and being the instigator in a plan to rob and attack the openly gay man.

Schneider had been scheduled for trial Aug. 29, and attorneys have reportedly been working toward a plea deal. On Monday, the trial date was pushed back one month, to Sept. 29. A hearing on a defense motion to dismiss the charges — first-degree murder, robbery, grand theft and robbery conspiracy — is now scheduled for Aug. 29.

Schneider and suspects Jayson C. Woods, Kevin R. Tracy and Daniel A. Henkel all could face life sentences if convicted. Woods, 28, is accused of helping Schneider as he beat and robbed Nelson of his car, wallet and other possessions. Tracy, 21, and Henkel, 23, are accused of hiding nearby in case Nelson put up a struggle and Schneider needed more muscle.

Nelson, 49, reportedly responded to an advertisement for a sexual encounter through the online website Backpage. Prosecutors say the four suspects used the ads to lure unsuspecting people and then robbed them, police said.

Nelson, left naked and bleeding, had to walk barefoot for a half-mile to reach a home and get help, investigators said. He died several hours later at a hospital but was able to provide Canyon County sheriff’s investigators with detailed information that led to the identification of his attackers.

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