A northwest Missouri farmer accused of first-degree murder in the deaths of two missing Wisconsin brothers from made his first court appearance today. Garland Joseph Nelson, 25, appeared via closed-circuit TV in the Circuit Court of Caldwell County.

Garland Joseph Nelson

Nelson’s attorney asked the judge for a continuance of three weeks to prepare before entering a plea. The judge scheduled a preliminary hearing for November 14.

The previous charge of tampering with a motor vehicle has been dismissed.

Brothers Nick and Justin Diemel, who owned a livestock business in Wisconsin, were reported missing July 21 after renting a truck and traveling to Nelson’s farm in Brayer to deal with a financial issue with Nelson. Afterward, Nelson was charged with tampering with the brothers’ vehicle by driving to a commuter parking lot and leaving the rental there.

In July, police found burnt human remains on Nelson’s farm, northeast of Kansas City. Court documents show Nelson reported the bodies, which were inside a 55-gallon barrel and hidden in a manure pile.

The probable cause statement from the Caldwell County Sheriff’s Office states that DNA comparisons lead authorities to believe the remains are those of Nicholas and Justin Diemel.

Nelson is also charged in Caldwell County with two counts of abandonment of a corpse, two counts of tampering with physical evidence in felony prosecution, two counts of armed criminal action and unlawful possession of a firearm.

Jeremy Shields of Missourinet affiliate KKWK in Cameron contributed to this story

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