Murder of Shelley Nance by Daniel Willyam investigated on A Heated Defense on ID

Shelley Lance smiling in a family pic
Shelley Lance was just 20 years old when her life was cruelly taken. Pic credit: Family pic

A Heated Defense on ID is examining the murder of Samantha “Shelley” Nance, who was stabbed to death by her boyfriend’s roommate, Daniel Willyam, at her apartment in Lake Highlands, a suburb of Dallas, Texas.

On September 10, 2009, Nance’s roommate, Ashley Olvera, came home to find the 20-year-old art student had been stabbed 40 times. The cops found no evidence of a break-in or a robbery.

The detectives were initially drawn to Nance’s boyfriend, Nathan Shuck, who had an extensive knife collection and enjoyed dressing up as a ninja. The cops then found a bag with Nance’s hair and blood in his apartment.

However, the police soon learned that Shuck was innocent and the killer was actually his roommate, former Navy veteran Willyam. The cops concluded that Willyam, who was openly gay, was jealous of Nance’s relationship with Shuck.

The police became dismissive of claims Shuck could be the killer, describing him as a “mama’s boy” who was afraid to drive and generally let people do things for him. Willyam cooked and cleaned for Shuck and also drove him to various places.

Willyam also appeared to develop a hatred for Nance, whom he thought was a bad influence on Shuck.

Evidence mounted against Daniel Willyam in Shelley Lance murder

Willyam was friends with Nance’s roommate Olvera and had made clear that he disliked Nance. And on the day of the murder, Willyam continuously texted Olvera, demanding to know where Nance was and what she was doing. Olvera assumed it was just part of his growing obsession with Nance and Shuck’s relationship.

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However, the police also spotted Willyam on surveillance footage at a Walmart near Nance’s apartment. He bought a pair of gloves with material that matched a small piece of blue material found on Nance’s body. This led to his arrest.

Willyam had a history of angry outbursts, having once ripped up his brother’s room in his mother’s house with a Samurai sword. While in the Navy, he had once requested a transfer from his ship because he claimed he wanted to hurt his superior officers.

Daniel Willyam sentenced to life for killing Shelley Lance

In November 2011, Willyam was found guilty of murder and was sentenced to life in prison. He will be eligible for parole after 30 years.

After the sentencing, Nance’s father, Sam Nance, said he no longer felt emotion and added, “My dog died, and I didn’t even cry. I just dug a hole and buried him.”

Nance’s mother, Cynthia Nance, told the killer, “I hope you enjoy your time in jail, and I hope you develop a conscience while you’re there.”

A heated Defense airs Friday at 8/7c on Investigation Discovery.

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