After Admission of QEEG Brain Map Evidence, Florida Jury Nixes Death Sentence for Grady Nelson

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Defense Counsel Terry Lenamon Details How South Florida Man Escapes Death Penalty for Stabbing Death of Wife after First-Time Admission of QEEG Brain Mapping Evidence

“QEEG brain mapping is the future,” Terry Lenamon explained after Judge Hogan-Scola sentenced Nelson to life without parole. “QEEG technology will have a huge impact around the country in a wide variety of lawsuits dealing with brain damage."

Grady Nelson, 53, will not face the death penalty for stabbing his wife 61 times and stabbing her two young children whom he had previously sexually assaulted, a Miami jury decided yesterday. After only one hour’s deliberation in a trial where QEEG brain mapping evidence was admitted, the jurors returned a recommendation of life without parole for Nelson, a former Miami-Dade County social worker’s aide convicted of murdering his wife, Angelina Martinez, in January 2005 (Cause No. F05-00846 in the Circuit Court of the 11th Judicial Circuit, in and for Miami-Dade County, Florida, styled State of Florida v.Grady Nelson.)

During the trial, evidence was presented that the Miami-Dade Human Services Department hired Nelson as a social-worker aide in 2000 despite his 1991 conviction for the 1991 rape of a 7-year-old neighbor. According to court documents, in 2005 Nelson was jailed for having sexual relations with his wife’s 11-year-old mentally disabled daughter; on the morning after his release from jail on this charge, Nelson was discovered holding a knife at the murder scene where his wife’s body lay with a knife in her head with her two children, her daughter, 11, and her son, 9 years old, also stabbed but still alive.

“This may be the first time in any United States criminal courtroom where QEEG analysis has been ruled admissible and respected for its ability to provide vital information on brain injury and impairment,” explains Terence Lenamon, death-qualified Miami criminal defense attorney and co-counsel with David S. Markus in Grady Nelson’s four-week penalty phase trial.

The defense argued as mitigation that not only was Nelson sexually abused as a child and abandoned by his mother, he also became addicted to cocaine and was brain damaged. Over the state’s “junk science” objections, Florida 11th Circuit Court Judge Jacqueline Hogan-Scola granted Terry Lenamon’s request to allow the jury to consider the results of Nelson’s quantitative EEG (“QEEG”) brain map, revealing Nelson’s involuntarily predisposition to impulsiveness and violence.

“QEEG brain mapping is the future,” Lenamon explained after Judge Hogan-Scola sentenced Nelson to life without parole. “QEEG technology will have a huge impact around the country in a wide variety of legal cases – civil and criminal – as well as in all kinds of medical issues.''

According to Lenamon, Florida’s Grady Nelson trial is a turning point for capital murder cases across the country and may provide support for QEEG admissibility in a wide variety of lawsuits where brain function is an issue. In the past, some judges have found QEEG testing to be insufficiently reliable to be admitted as scientific evidence, and the prosecution fought hard against its use in the Nelson considerations.

However, after hearing Lenamon’s arguments and the testimony of Dr. Robert W. Thatcher, a nationally known pioneer in QEEG analysis who is Board Certified by the American Board of Certification of Quantitative Electroencephalography and a principal in Applied Neuroscience, Incorporated, Judge Hogan-Scola found QEEG meets the legal prerequisites for reliability under Frye and Daubert standards.

“[E]verything I have heard, the methodologies are sound, the techniques are sound, the science is sound,” ruled Judge Hogan-Scola in the October 6, 2010, hearing on the admissibility of QEEG evidence.

“We are understandably encouraged by the fierce dedication to justice exhibited by Judge Hogan-Scola in her ruling on QEEG,” continues Mr. Lenamon. “Having a judge with her combination of legal expertise and scientific knowledge was crucial here, and the time to recognize QEEG analysis by experts such as Dr. Thatcher as sound science is long overdue.”

As explained by Dr. Thatcher in his October 2010 testimony, QEEG brain mapping is a computer analysis of around 20 channels of simultaneous EEG recording under controlled conditions including 3-dimensional source imaging. Today, there are over 50 companies selling QEEG products in the marketplace, including Applied Neuroscience, Incorporated, whose NeuroGuide Deluxe™ has been tested as reliable.

About Terence Lenamon:

Terence (“Terry”) Lenamon is a Board Certified criminal defense attorney practicing in Miami, Florida, where he has achieved national recognition as a death-qualified defense trial lawyer representing those facing the death penalty for capital crimes, having first-chaired over 100 jury trials in his 17 years practicing law. Terence Lenamon is also Executive Director of the Florida Capital Resource Center, a non-profit organization that provides support to Florida death penalty attorneys.

Lenamon’s recent media recognition includes being the initial death-qualified attorney in the Casey Anthony case, as well as representing both Grady Nelson and Caesar Mena. Terence Lenamon has appeared as a criminal defense expert on HLN’s Nancy Grace and Issues with Jane Velez Mitchell as well as being quoted for the opinions he provides in print media publications including the Miami Herald, the Orlando Sentinel, and the Palm Beach Post. He blogs regularly about death penalty issues at

Terence M. Lenamon, Esq.*
Lenamon Law PLLC
100 N. Biscayne Blvd., Suite 3070
Miami, FL 33132
Phone: (305) 373-9911
Fax: (786) 425-2380
*Board Certified Trial Lawyer /AV-Rated Preeminent


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