Orange County District Attorney
Tony Rackauckas, District Attorney
401 Civic Center Drive West
Santa Ana, CA 92701
For Immediate Release
Susan Kang Schroeder
MAN SENTENCED TO 25 YEARS TO LIFE FOR
MURDERING GIRLFRIEND BY STRANGLING HER
IN TUSTIN APARTMENT
SANTA ANA – A man was sentenced today to 25 years to life in prison for strangling and murdering his 96-pound, sick girlfriend. Christopher Edward Nell, 50, Fullerton, was found guilty by a jury on July 10, 2008.
On the night of June 24, 2005, Nell murdered his girlfriend, 47-year-old Karen Taylor, by strangling her to death in her Tustin apartment. Nell was angry because Taylor refused to give him drugs and he was jealous because he thought Taylor was cheating on him. Nell beat her face and arms before strangling her. The victim, who suffered from several diseases, died from suffocation. After murdering his girlfriend and leaving her nude body in the bedroom, Nell called 9-1-1 and told the dispatcher that he had discovered Taylor dead in her bathtub. Responding officers found the victim’s dead body with multiple bruises and scrapes on her face. The defendant had methamphetamine in his blood at the time of the murder.
Senior Deputy District Attorney Cameron Talley of the Homicide Unit prosecuted this case.