Braymer man changes plea to “Guilty” in Diemel brothers case, sentenced to two consecutive life terms in prison

Garland Joey Nelson Booking Photo

The Braymer man charged in the deaths of two Wisconsin men in 2019 pleaded guilty during a plea hearing in Cass County on September 30th and was sentenced to life in prison.

Garland Joseph Nelson withdrew his previous plea of not guilty and pleaded guilty to two counts of felony first-degree murder. The state dismissed all other counts. The court sentenced Nelson to life in the Department of Corrections without the possibility of parole on both counts. The sentences are to run consecutively.

Charges were originally filed in Caldwell County, but the case was moved on a change of venue to Johnson County in 2020.

Nick and Justin Diemel were reported missing in July 2019 after traveling to Caldwell County to collect on a reported cattle debt of $250,000 from Nelson. A probable cause statement accused Nelson of shooting the brothers, putting their bodies into 55-gallon barrels, and burning the bodies.

The Caldwell County Sheriff’s Office reported dental records were used to identify the remains found in Missouri and Nebraska in November 2019.