News Releases

June 13, 2019: Utah Man Charged with Special Circumstances Murders, Attempted Murder, Robberies

Contact: 
Ricardo Santiago, Public Information Officer
(213) 257-2000

A 30-year-old man was charged today with the fatal shooting of two people, including an off-duty Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Deputy, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced.

Rhett McKenzie Nelson (dob 05/23/89) of St. George, UT faces two counts each of murder and second-degree robbery as well as one count of attempted murder.

Case BA478606 includes special circumstance allegations of multiple murders and murder by means of discharging a firearm from a motor vehicle as well as allegations of using a handgun in the commission of the crimes.

Arraignment is scheduled today in Department 30 of the Foltz Criminal Justice Center.

Nelson is charged with fatally shooting Dmitry Koltsov from his vehicle in Downtown Los Angeles on June 10. Later the same day, the defendant reportedly killed Joseph G. Solano inside of a Jack In The Box restaurant in Alhambra. Solano was a deputy with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.

Hours after shooting Solano, the defendant committed two robberies in Long Beach, one at a Shell gas station and the other at a 7-Eleven.

If convicted as charged, Nelson faces a possible maximum sentence of death or life in prison without the possibility of parole. A decision about whether to seek capital punishment will be made at a later date. The defendant is being held with no bail.

Deputy District Attorney Antonella Nistorescu of the Crimes Against Peace Officers Section is the assigned prosecutor.

The case remains under investigation by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.