Man charged with fatally shooting wife makes self-defense claim

A man accused of fatally shooting his common-law wife early Friday morning told officers he was woken up by her pointing a gun in his face.

Jerome Nelson, 32, also told officers when he took the revolver from her, she then grabbed a shotgun. Nelson then pointed the revolver at her and pulled the trigger, a probable cause affidavit detailed.

Nelson was arrested and charged with murder, a first-degree felony.

“We have investigators look at everything,” OPD Spokesman Cpl. Steve LeSueur said. “They conducted and interview and they had probable cause to obtain the arrest warrant.”

Nelson first told a dispatcher his common-law wife, 28-year-old Rochel Zuniga, had pointed a shotgun at him while he was asleep and the gun went off, the affidavit stated. Officers were called about a gunshot victim at about 2:20 a.m. Friday at Sunset Apartments, 9100 Andrews Highway, an Odessa Police Department news release stated.

When officers got to the apartments, they made contact with Nelson and located a dead woman, later identified as Zuniga, the report stated.

Officers saw Zuniga with a shotgun in her hand, the document detailed, and saw a revolver on the bed in the bedroom.

Nelson told police when he pulled the trigger of the revolver, he saw Zuniga fall to the floor and then he passed out and woke up some time later. The report detailed he told officers a period of time went by in which he contemplated what to do before calling law enforcement.

Jail records show Nelson was taken to the Ector County Detention Center Friday and no bond has been set as of Friday afternoon.