Motion to dismiss charges against second suspect in Kolstad attack in Mankato


On Monday, a Blue Earth County District Court judge will hear a motion to dismiss charges against a second suspect in a street fight in Mankato that left a former Minnesota State University football player with life-threatening injuries.

The Mankato Free Press reported that the public defender representing Trevor Shelley, 22, of St. Peter filed the motion on Friday. It asks that first- and third-degree felony assault charges filed against Shelley be dismissed for a lack of probable cause.

Shelley, former Gopher quarterback Philip Nelson and former Maverick Isaac Kolstad were in downtown Mankato on May 11, 2014, when an argument started between Nelson and Kolstad. Surveillance video showed that Kolstad threw the first punch. The video then shows Shelley delivering a blow that sent Kolstad to the pavement, followed by a kick from Nelson.

The motion filed by Shelley's attorney said charges should be dismissed because prosecutors "cannot establish which co-defendant (Shelley or Nelson) caused the nature or extent of the injuries sustained by Isaac Kolstad."

Kolstad is still recovering from brain injuries. Kolstad's family established a Caring Bridge site at the time he was hospitalized and updated it repeatedly during his long recovery. As Kolstad has returned home, the posts have dwindled.

Kolstad continues to use social media to update his recovery. He's used an Instagram account for pictures with his family and on Twitter earlier this week noted that he is involved in strength training; earlier he mentioned that he had mowed his lawn for the first time since the injury.

Monday's hearing will be the first since April for Shelley.

In January, Nelson pleaded guilty to fifth-degree assault, a misdemeanor. The felony charges against him were dropped as a result of the plea agreement. At the time of Nelson's sentencing, Kolstad's family expressed disappointment that Nelson would not serve prison time. The family indicated they planned to bring a civil lawsuit against Nelson, Shelley and the two bars where they drank on the night of the fight.

On Thursday, the Wilmington, North Carolina Star reported that Nelson has been added to the roster at Eastern Carolina University as a walk-on.

Nelson first practiced with the team on Thursday. Nelson has been admitted to ECU and accepted as part of the football team, but it has not yet been determined when he’ll be eligible to play. Once cleared, he will have two years of eligibility.

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