Edward Nelson, who is charged with killing GW graduate student Daniel Krug in May 2002, will begin his first-degree murder trial Monday at the D.C. Superior Court.
Nelson is accused of entering Krug’s home at 2517 K St. and murdering him during the course of a robbery that was part of a planned string of random robberies on the night of May 30, 2002.
Oliver Krug, Daniel Krug’s brother, said he hopes Nelson is sentenced to life in prison without parole. He added that the crime is particularly saddening to his family because of its random nature.
“If you could have said my brother was involved with something he shouldn’t have been involved with, you could have put one and one together,” Oliver Krug said. “But in this case it was so random and I think it makes the crime 10 times worse.”
In 2003, a grand jury said Nelson strangled Krug and subsequently left the apartment with his laptop, credit cards and money, according to court documents.
Police found Krug after his friends said he did not show up to a charity race and wedding the next day. The grand jury documents said, “the murder was especially heinous, atrocious, or cruel.”
Police said a former University of Maryland student, Stephen Burciaga, was the getaway driver. Burciaga told police officials that Nelson offered him half the money he stole in exchange for his services as a driver. He also told police that Nelson entered Krug’s apartment with a gun, a metal pole and a cord that was used to bind him.
Burciaga was soon caught using one of Krug’s cards to withdraw money from a College Park ATM. Ocean City, Md. police caught Nelson after he stole a woman’s cigarettes.
Earlier this month, Burciaga plead guilty in Superior Court and could testify at Nelson’s trial. Police said Burciaga waited in a van on May 30 while Nelson entered the apartment. Oliver Krug said he hopes Burciaga will also receive life in prison without parole.
“I don’t think (Burciaga) is a big time criminal,” Oliver Krug said. “He’s more or less a loser hanging out with someone he shouldn’t have been with. I’m happy because there won’t be another trial. He pled guilty, and I hope he gets a heavy sentence.”
Nelson has told investigators that he was near Krug’s apartment that night but said Burciaga is the actual murderer. Oliver Krug said he is confident Nelson will be found guilty.
“At the end of the day there were no eyewitnesses who could finger Nelson, but the evidence is pretty incriminating,” he said. Janet Mitchell, the public defender representing Nelson, declined comment for this story.
Krug, a native of Easton, Pa., graduated from Cornell University in 1994 and worked in Nevada and Seattle before coming to GW to work on his master’s of business administration degree.
Last year, Krug’s friends dedicated a Gelman Library bicycle rack in his name. Oliver Krug said his brother, who died at the age of 30, was a caring person and will be missed.
“He was a great guy,” he said. “He was a totally interested person and always looking out for people.”
This article appeared in the September 27, 2004 issue of the Hatchet.