David Nash sentenced to 28 years for role in Critter Man's death

David Nash sentenced to 28 years for role in Critter Man's death

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - Former doctor David Nash was sentenced to 28 years in prison on Friday for his involvement in the murder of a well-known exterminator, Ralph "Skip" The Critter Man McNeil.

Nash was found guilty for a second time in the high-profile murder-for-hire case that dated back to 2011.

This is one of the most complicated violent crime cases tried by the Montgomery County District Attorney's Office as of late.

Following Nash's 2014 conviction of murder-for-hire, a capital murder offense, the judge vacated the verdict.

After wrangling with the Alabama Supreme Court, Judge Charles Price was forced to sentence Nash, where he handed down life without parole, before vacating the verdict and sentence again after the defense filed new grounds for mistrial, which was eventually granted.

During the second trial, the prosecution put on evidence and testimony for a murder-for-hire case, but in a surprise move before closing, Price changed the charge to felony murder, which carries a lesser penalty.

Both parties were shocked when the charges were changed.

Following the second verdict, McNeil's sister, Teresa McNeil Combs, explained it had been a stressful week with serious concerns of acquittal. Combs expressed her thanks for the District Attorney's Office and victim's services over the last four and half years, explaining the horror of living through two murder trials.

"Justice has prevailed," Combs said. "Twenty-four people have convicted this man twice.  I feel like it's been a long, hard journey. My family can finally have closure."

Nash was found guilty of hiring cousins Jeremy and Kindall Riley to murder Ralph "Skip" McNeil in January of 2011 for $9,000.  While the defense has long maintained the money involved a car, the prosecution says it was the commission to kill McNeil.

Nash was engaged to Serena English at the time of McNeil's death. English and McNeil were involved in a heated custody battle.

Jeremy and Kindall Riley pleaded guilty to murder and are currently serving 25-year sentences. English pleaded guilty to capital murder and was sentenced to life with the possibility of parole. Nash's co-defendants testified against him in both trials.

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