On Sept. 9, Pierce County Prosecutor Mark Lindquist accepted guilty pleas from Austin Richard Moores Nelson, 20, for first degree murder, first degree burglary and first degree animal cruelty. Moores Nelson shot and killed Teresa Ann Ryan, 46, last January.
“Teresa was part of our family,” said Lindquist. “She worked in the District Court Clerk’s Office and was especially well-known and well-liked in our courthouse.”
In September 2015, Ryan's daughter began dating Moores Nelson. Ryan learned of the relationship and told Moores Nelson to stay away from her daughter. Moores Nelson continued his relationship with Ryan's daughter.
On January 8, 2016, Ryan's daughter broke up with Moores Nelson, telling him she did not want to continue lying to her mother. The following week, Moores Nelson sent text messages to Ryan's daughter, threatening to damage her car. Later that day, her car was vandalized in the school parking lot.
The following week, Ryan called police and reported that her daughter received text messages from Moores Nelson, who was threatening to post photos and videos online of him and Ryan's daughter having sex. Later that day, the photos and videos appeared on Facebook and Instagram.
On the morning of January 18, Moores Nelson approached Ryan in her driveway and shot her three times in the chest and back. Then, he broke into Ryan's home and shot the family dog. Ryan's daughter was not home at the time of the murder.
Moores Nelson fled the scene and was arrested a short time later at his grandfather's home.
Moores Nelson was sentenced to 42-and-a-half years in prison.