Heading to court

Jason Nisbit is led into the Rice County Courthouse for his arraignment on Aug. 10, 2015. (Daily News file photo)

A Faribault man who allegedly killed an Ohio woman in Rice County has been indicted on first-degree intentional premeditated murder.

With the indictment, which was filed Wednesday, he faces life imprisonment.

Jason Robert Nisbit, 39, of Faribault, was charged with second-degree murder last month after he allegedly cut the throat of an Ohio woman that he met online.

On Thursday, Nisbit was arraigned on the indictment.

According to the indictment document, the grand jury found that on or about Aug. 1, Nisbit did cause the death of Chelsea Elizabeth Martinez with premeditation and with intent to affect the death of the person.

The new indictment document offered scant reasoning for elevating the charges, but according to the original criminal complaint filed in Rice County District Court:

Chelsea Martinez, 26, traveled to Minnesota from Columbus, Ohio. After the two met at a local motel and arranged to meet the next morning (Aug. 1), the two met at Shager Park, west of Faribault.

After walking across State Highway 60 and reaching a wooded area, Nisbit, with items he brought in a backpack, tied Martinez’s hands and feet with a paracord and strangled her with another piece of paracord until she lost consciousness. He then used the knife to cut her throat.

After law enforcement discovered Martinez’s car at Shager Park on Aug. 3 they found the car had been reported missing in Ohio. Law enforcement then learned the two had connected online, and when questioned, Nisbit admitted to killing Martinez and later led them to where he put her body. He also showed them where the knife was located.

Nisbit is currently being held at Rice County jail. As part of his original charge, second-degree murder, his bail was set at $1 million. The bail conditions were continued on Thursday.

Now, according to Minnesota Statute, with the grand jury finding enough evidence to indict Nisbit for first-degree murder, if he is convicted, he faces life imprisonment without the chance of parole.

Nisbit also continues to face the second-degree murder charge, which carries a penalty of 40 years in prison.

Following the hearing, Rice County Attorney John Fossum said he was pleased with the indictment but said there is still a long road ahead.

“There is a long time before we’re done,” he said. “There is still a lot of work to be done.”

Nisbit will next appear in late October. A final date has yet to be determined.

Brad Phenow covers government and economic development in Northfield, and public safety in Faribault. Reach him in Faribault at 333-3135 and in Northfield at 645-1122 or follow him on Twitter @BradPhenow.

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