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Martin Chris Nelson

A man suspected of killing two Washington County men made a brief court appearance on other charges.

Martin Chris Nelson, 43, appeared in Cedar City's 5th District Court on Wednesday for a preliminary hearing on felony charges of failure to register as a sex offender, drug possession and possession of a dangerous weapon. However, the hearing was continued until Dec. 5, court clerks said.

A judge also raised the bail to $50,000 cash only.

Meanwhile, police and prosecutors in Iron County continue to build a murder case against Nelson for the deaths of Chad Grijalva and Derek Davis.

"We're very confident in the case," Iron County Sheriff Mark Gower told the Deseret Morning News on Wednesday.

Deputies have collected hundreds of pieces of evidence from Nelson's ramshackle home in Beryl, Iron County. Much of that has been sent to the state crime lab for analysis.

Grijalva and Davis vanished on Oct. 24 after telling family members they were going to run an errand in Cedar City. Detectives believe the men went to Nelson's home to collect money he owed them and, after exchanging words, he shot them both several times with a rifle before they even reached his door.

The men's bodies were found buried in a shallow grave underneath the floor of a tack shed when deputies went to question Nelson about failing to register as a sex offender — and discovered the truck the missing men were last seen driving.

On Wednesday, Gower huddled with Iron County prosecutors to discuss the case and when formal murder charges would be filed.

"I would hope they'd be filed soon," Gower said.

Funeral services for Grijalva are scheduled for Dec. 1 in Kanab. Services already have been held for Davis.

E-mail: bwinslow@desnews.com