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Ellie Nesker shot and killed her son’s accused molester, Daniel Driver, in a Sonora, California courtroom during his trial in 1993. Driver was accused of raping four boys at a christian camp when they were 6-7 years old.

Fearing the twice-convicted molester would walk free, she pulled a Raven .25-caliber semiautomatic pistol from the purse of her sister Jan Martinez and shot Driver five times in the head.

She told police, “He deserved to die. Maybe I’m not God, but I’ll tell you what – I’m the closest damn thing to it for all the little boys. My little boy can hold his head up now. He doesn’t have to be afraid of Danny.”

Many were critical that she had taken justice into her own hands but others praised her decision to act as her son’s avenger.

She served 3 years of a 10-year sentence for voluntary manslaughter and was released after winning an appeal based on jury misconduct. She later went back to prison after being convicted on drug charges, serving an additional 3 years. While in prison she developed breast cancer. She died at UC Davis Medical Center in Sacramento on December 26, 2008 at age 56.

Her son William Nesler, who was molested with the three other boys, was arrested more than twenty times over a period of five years and was convicted at age 23 of stomping neighbor David Davis to death in 2004. He remained on the run for 10 days before being brought in by bounty hunter Leonard Padilla. He is currently serving a 25 year prison sentence for his crime.

The movie Judgment Day: The Ellie Nesler Story aired on television in 1999, detailing the drama that unfolded in the California courtroom.

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