DRIGGS — The case against a man charged with killing a pregnant Driggs woman will move forward to district court. Judge Jason Walker ruled in a preliminary hearing on Friday there was enough evidence for two counts of felony murder charges against Erik Ohlson, 39, of Jackson.
Ohlson faces one murder charge for the shooting death of Jennifer Nalley, 39, of Driggs. The second count stems from the death of Nalley’s unborn child.
Ohlson was arrested for a DUI after crashing his vehicle into a utility pole. While he was in custody, he told investigators he shot Nalley after coming to her home in Driggs. He said he was in a relationship with Nalley and was aware that she was pregnant.
He allegedly shot Nalley multiple times on July 5.
In a lengthy hearing, the prosecution laid out the evidence in the case, including testimony from a firearms expert and information from the autopsy.
That testimony allowed deputy prosecutor Christopher Lundberg to say that Ohlson had to pull the trigger of his 45 caliber Glock pistol eight separate times to account for the gunshots in Nalley’s back.
Other evidence included text messages between Ohlson and a mutual friend of his and Nalley’s, where he mentioned wanting to kill Nalley several times.
The friend said she didn’t interpret the messages as threats and tried to talk Ohlson down. The text conversations included the following phrase from the Fourth of July, the day before the murder.
“I was literally tying my shoelaces when you texted. I was heading to Driggs to commit a murder, Glock loaded with hollow points, plans of killing her and killing myself,” Ohlson wrote. “I’m not being dramatic.”
Ohlson sent another message claiming that he was in for the night and was not planning on going anywhere.
His defense attorney, Jim Archibald of Idaho Falls, raised some issues with the evidence being introduced, but nothing that prevented the exhibits from being admitted for the purposes of a preliminary hearing.
One regarded that when the Idaho State Police interviewed him, Ohlson indicated that he wanted a lawyer but detectives continued to speak to him. The prosecution argued that Ohlson said that he may want a lawyer and the detectives were clarifying his statement. Ohlson then waived his right to an attorney before the interview continued.
“He asked for a lawyer, I think the inquiries should stop instead of the officer trying to be his buddy and trying to get him to talk some more,” Archibald said.
Currently the case is set to go before the district court on Sept. 6.
This article was originally published in the Teton Valley News. It is used here with permission.