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Model who killed, cooked husband denied parole

Image: Omaima Aref Nelson appears in court in 1992 for killing and cooking her husband.
In a 1992 photo, Omaima Nelson enters a Santa Ana, Calif., courtroom.Bruce Chambers / AP
/ Source: news services

A California woman who killed her newlywed husband and chopped and cooked his body parts over Thanksgiving weekend in 1991 on Wednesday was denied parole for the second time.

Parole commissioners rejected Omaima Nelson's bid for freedom following a hearing at the Central California Women's Facility in Chowchilla, where she has been serving a life sentence.

Nelson was convicted of murdering her 56-year-old husband, William Nelson, in a grisly killing that authorities compared to the fictional slayings of Hannibal Lecter.

Prosecutors say Nelson stabbed her husband and likely plotted to steal from him as she had done with other middle-aged men. Nelson said she acted in self-defense.

A psychiatrist testified during Nelson's trial that she told him she ate her husband's ribs but later denied it.

Nelson was denied parole in 2006 because commissioners found her unpredictable and a serious threat to public safety.

Nelson, a former model and nanny, has been serving a sentence of 27 years to life.

Nelson was convicted of murdering her husband in a grisly killing that authorities compared to the fictional slayings of Hannibal Lecter.

"There were suitcases and plastic bags soaked with dark liquid from his body parts. In the fry cooker there sat Mr. Nelson's hands, and when we opened the refrigerator there was Mr. Nelson's head with stab wounds," Orange County Senior Deputy Dist. Atty. Randolph J. Pawloski told the L.A. Times. "She had his entrails in his Corvette, and she was trying to get an ex-boyfriend to yank out the dentures from the head so she could dump it in the [Newport Beach] Back Bay."

"It is certainly one of the most gruesome … crimes ever committed in Orange County and sometime people need reminding of that," he said.

She will not be eligible to seek parole again for 15 years — the maximum period she can be held without another hearing, the commissioners said.