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Classification: Murderer
Characteristics: Robbery - Alcohol
Number of victims: 1
Date of murder: January 12, 1992
Date of birth: July 11, 1965
Victim profile: Wilson Mannon, 64
Method of murder: Hitting with a hammer
Location: Wilmington, Delaware, USA
Status: Sentenced to death on April 30, 1993

United States District Court
For the District of Delaware


memorandum opinion 2002


United States Court of Appeals
For the Third Circuit


opinion 04-9004


Steven W. Shelton

DOB: 07/11/1965

Race: White Gender: Male

Offense: Murder 1st

Sentenced to Death: 04/30/1993

Date of Offense: 01/12/1992

Along with brother Nelson Shelton and cousin Jack Outten, robbed and killed 64-year old Wilson Mannon after a night of drinking. Nelson Shelton was executed on March 17, 1995. Jack Outten was also sentenced to death.


The Murder of Willie Mannon

Jack Foster Outten, his cousins Steven and Nelson Shelton, and Nelson's girlfriend, Christina Gibbons, spent the afternoon of January 11, 1992, drinking beer at Nelson and Gibbons's home in Newark. After consuming approximately one and one-half cases of beer, the four drove to Clemente's Bus Stop, a local tavern located on Route 13 south of Wilmington.

After separating for a short time, Outten, the Sheltons, and Gibbons eventually reconvened and went to Hamill's Pub in Elsmere, and then to Fat Boys Bar in New Castle. At Fat Boys Bar, the three men began playing pool while Gibbons sat at the bar counter alone. She began conversing and drinking with sixty-two year old Wilson "Willie" Mannon, who had arrived at the bar earlier that same day. Ultimately, Mannon left with Gibbons and the three men.

Mannon's body was discovered along a road in a deserted area of East Wilmington at approximately 11:00 a.m. on January 12, 1992. He was found lying on his back with his legs crossed and the top of his head shattered. Mannon's pockets were turned inside-out, and loose change, his empty wallet, and his identification cards were scattered nearby. A broken ballpeen hammer handle rested a few feet away from his body and the head of that hammer was located behind a nearby fence along the road.

Nelson Shelton and Gibbons were stopped by New Castle County police later that morning. The officers sought to question Nelson on an unrelated charge. He was taken to police headquarters and found to be in possession of two gold rings that were Mannon's. His winter jacket also appeared to be stained with blood.

Gibbons accompanied Nelson to the police station. While there, she provided statements to New Castle County and Wilmington law enforcement officers implicating Outten and Steven Shelton in the robbery and murder of Mannon. Gibbons recounted that she had been at a bar the previous night with Outten and the Shelton brothers, and that, at the end of the night, the four of them left in Nelson's car with an "older man" named Willie. From the bar, they drove to a "boat yard," where the older man was beaten with a hammer and an object she thought was a sink. According to Gibbons, Outten struck the man with the sink and Steven kicked him. She was adamant that Nelson, though present, was not involved. Gibbons also told police that the sink was discarded along Interstate 95 after the murder.

The next day, January 13, 1992, Gibbons spoke about Mannon's murder to her social worker, Sandra Nyce. The story she recounted to Nyce differed significantly from her prior statements to the police. Indeed, she implicated Outten and both Shelton brothers in the beating and murder, telling Nyce that all three men had taken turns hitting Mannon and that they had killed a "nice old man."



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