2017-12-20 / News

Man faces 25 years for concealing body


John Stephen Nielsen John Stephen Nielsen A North Chesterfield man faces up to 25 years in prison on charges of possession of a controlled substance and concealing the body of a dead woman who apparently died in his home from a heroin overdose.

John Stephen Nielsen, 43, of the 5200 block of Shady Lane, was arrested in September on Aug. 4 offenses and charged with two counts of possession of a controlled substance and concealing the body of 26-year-old Dillon McGhee of Mechanicsville, who police found in a closet in his home.

Nielsen is being held without bond at Riverside Regional Jail in Prince George County pending appointment of an attorney and a preliminary hearing in Chesterfield General District Court.

Court documents indicate that Nielsen has been convicted of four felony larcenies, but was not on probation at the time of the Aug. 4 charges.

In a motion on file in General District Court for a continuance in the case, Deputy Commonwealth’s Attorney Melissa H. Hoy outlines some of the reasons that Nielsen is being held without bond, referencing a bond hearing on Oct. 12.

“Because of the facts of the case, the fact that the defendant fled the area for a short time after the incident, the defendant’s history of repeatedly failing to appear and his access to a large amount of inheritance money,” Hoy states, “he was held without bond.”

Police executed a search warrant at Nielsen’s residence on Aug. 4, and according to documents on file in Circuit Court, seized syringes, white powder and a spoon with residue, scales and a medical bracelet for McGhee from VCU Medical Center, as well as the muscle relaxer Cyclobenzaprine, which had been prescribed to McGhee.

A woman who had observed McGhee at Nielsen’s home on Aug. 4 and believed she was dead contacted the police to check on her welfare after leaving the residence, according to court documents.

Documents on file in General District Court indicate that when first questioned by police and prior to allowing them inside his home, Nielsen told them McGhee was not there.

Nielsen told authorities that he met McGhee through a mutual friend. Nielsen told police that prior to McGhee coming over to his home on Aug. 4, she told him she had been raped the night before while walking through Bryan Park in Richmond.

Nielsen told Chesterfield detective Kenneth J. King that he was not sure if McGhee had notified Richmond authorities about the rape, but that she was wearing a patient bracelet from VCU Medical Center.

“He advised that Dillon had contacted him once she got released from the hospital asking to come over, as she felt safe there,” King states. “Nielsen advised that he told Dillon before she got there, that if she was trying to stay clean that he wasn’t the best person to be around.

“Nielsen advised that Dillon told him that she didn’t want to feel this pain she was feeling and that she had dope and wanted to hang out. He advised that Dillon brought heroin and everything she needed with her.”

Court documents indicate Nielsen told King that he left his home for about 30 minutes on Aug. 4 and when he returned, two other women who had arrived at the house while he was gone told him they thought McGhee was dead.

“Nielsen went on to say that he started to panic because there were drugs and drug paraphernalia everywhere,” King says.

Nielsen said that after he was unsuccessful in trying to rouse McGhee, he took her downstairs “and leaned her up against the washing machine or dryer,” King says. “Nielsen stated that she wasn’t responding at that point.

“He then told police that she was no longer there and that she had been picked up by someone. Nielsen stated that his plan was to never call the police because of the drugs in the house. He advised that his plan was to get her into his truck and drop her off at Chippenham [Hospital].”

However, that was not possible because police arrived at Nielsen’s home to check on McGhee’s welfare, court documents indicate. ¦

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