A Northwest Missouri man facing capital murder charges will have a preliminary hearing on a separate stealing charge Friday.

Garland Nelson, from Braymer, Missouri, is accused of killing Nicholas and Justin Diemel, two brothers from Wisconsin.

While detained on that charge, prosecutors allege Nelson coerced a former fellow inmate to steal a “semi-tractor” on his behalf.

On Friday, Caldwell County prosecutors will need to show probable cause that Nelson committed a felony for stealing a motor vehicle. If prosecutors are successful, Nelson’s case will be moved to a higher court.

This proceeding is the second attempt to try Nelson on the stealing charge. A trial on the charge was abruptly delayed twice before being canceled because a critical prosecution witness was in COVID-19 quarantine.

Friday’s proceeding will take place in Caldwell County. Nelson’s murder case, scheduled for trial next year, was moved to Johnson County because of pre-trial publicity.

According to online court records, at least three people have been subpoenaed to testify virtually at the preliminary hearing. One is Major Tony Kirkendoll, the Caldwell County sheriff’s deputy who wrote the probable cause affidavit in the case. The other two are the alleged victims in the case who police said were the true owners of the semi-tractor that was taken.

Another man will appear virtually after the judge ordered the Missouri Department of Corrections to produce him before the court. That man allegedly took the trailer at the behest of Nelson after the two met when they were confined together at the Caldwell County Detention Center on unrelated charges. The man hasn’t been charged in Nelson’s stealing case.

Previously obtained court records show prosecution planned to use a series of nine taped phone calls to make the stealing case against Nelson. Those audio files are apparently calls between Nelson and the inmate who spent time in the Caldwell County Detention Center with him.

Nelson has entered a not guilty plea to both the stealing and murder charges. His preliminary hearing on the stealing charge is scheduled for 1 p.m. Friday and will take place virtually.

Matt Hoffmann is a our lead investigative reporter. He can be reached at matt.hoffmann@newspressnow.com. Follow him on Twitter: @NpNowHoffmann.

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