Killing and robbing fuel delivery driver in 2012 results in 60-year sentence

A Port Allen man was sentenced to 60 years in prison Monday after pleading guilty in the 2012 robbery and slaying of a tractor-trailer driver delivering fuel to a downtown Baton Rouge gas station.

Phillip Carter, 23, was scheduled to stand trial Monday on second-degree murder and armed robbery charges in the robbery-killing of Bobby Nelson at the Chevron station at the corner of St. Ferdinand and Government streets, but instead pleaded guilty to manslaughter and armed robbery.

State District Judge Don Johnson sentenced Carter to the maximum 40 years on the manslaughter charge and 60 years on the armed robbery charge, and ordered the terms to run concurrently, meaning he will serve 60 years.

East Baton Rouge Parish District Attorney Hillar Moore III said the family of Nelson, 43, of Denham Springs, did not want to endure the pain of a trial. The family agreed with the plea and sentence.

“This is a real tragic loss for our community. Mr. Nelson was a U.S. veteran with an outstanding family, and he was causing no harm to anyone when he was killed,” Moore said.

Carter’s co-defendant, Robert Pierson, 18, also of Port Allen, has not yet been tried. He is charged with second-degree murder and armed robbery.

Nelson was shot Aug. 7, 2012, and died two days later.

Carter and Pierson approached Nelson as he was unloading fuel into the underground tanks at the Chevron station at 501 St. Ferdinand St., police have said.

The men robbed Nelson of his wallet and then shot him twice in the leg before running away, police said. Police found Nelson just after 3 a.m. on the ground next to his tractor-trailer.