Nelson Ward Jr. Accused of Murder by Running Over New Drinking Pal Jessica Carvajal

A 60-year-old man was charged Tuesday with murder for allegedly running over a woman in the parking lot of the Buena Park Holiday Inn early Saturday.


Senior Deputy District Attorney Troy Pino tells City News Service that 32-year-old Jessica Carvajal and her boyfriend met Nelson Ward Jr. on his 60th birthday Friday, and the three spent the day driving around in his van and drinking.

At some point, Ward took a nap in the back of the van while Carvajal and her beau continued their informal tour, but when Ward awoke to find the boyfriend in the driver's seat and the girlfriend in the passenger seat, he accused them of stealing his vehicle and wasting their gas, Pino said.

Ward demanded the couple get out of the van, so the boyfriend pulled into the parking lot of the Holiday Inn at 7000 Beach Blvd. around 1:20 a.m. Saturday, when the three continued arguing with one another, Pino said.

It is alleged that Ward then jumped back behind the wheel of the van, punched the gas and drove up over a divider and a mid-size palm tree and onto a sidewalk, “crushing” Carvajal against a wall, according to Pino, who notes she was pronounced dead at the scene and her boyfriend was slightly injured.

Ward, who is being held in lieu of $1 million bail, was scheduled to be arraigned Tuesday afternoon on the murder count and assault with a deadly weapon or instrument likely to produce great bodily injury.

Email: mc****@oc******.com. Twitter: @MatthewTCoker. Follow OC Weekly on Twitter @ocweekly or on Facebook!

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