Nielsen Pleads No Contest in Death of 5-Year-Old Green River Boy

Nielsen Pleads No Contest in Death of 5-Year-Old Green River Boy

Christopher James Nielsen was sentenced to life without parole in the death of a 5-year-old boy under his care in November of 2019.

GREEN RIVER — A 27-year-old Green River man has changed his plea to no contest in the felony first-degree murder of a five-year-old Green River boy in November 2019.

Christopher James Nielsen entered his plea this morning in the Third District Court of Judge Suzannah Robinson. As a result, he stands convicted of the death of 5-year-old Green River youth Anthony James Radcliff on November 28, 2019.

Nielsen has spent the last year and a half in jail awaiting a jury trial after pleading not guilty during an arraignment in January 2020. He described his actions on the night of November 14, 2019 during his hearing today.

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Nielsen said he was watching Radcliff for the boy’s mother that night and became irritated when Radcliff wouldn’t behave. He said he was feeling stressed due of lack of sleep, being unemployed and nearly homeless.

I lost my temper, shook AJ and when he went into a seizure, I started frantically shaking him again to try and wake him up.

Christopher James Nielsen

Nielsen told the court the episode went on for several minutes before he realized Radcliff was not responding. He then went to a neighbor’s home to seek help.

Sweetwater County Attorney Dan Erramouspe said Radcliff ultimately died from a subdural hematoma caused by the length and severity of the shaking. He also said that further examination showed the child suffered other injuries that would not be attributed to Nielsen in this case.

Last year the state announced it would not seek the death penalty against Nielsen. Nielsen now faces a maximum sentence of life in prison and a $10,000 fine. An argued sentencing date is being looked at during the first week of June.