Ex-U quarterback Philip Nelson to plead guilty in Mankato assault

20 Jan 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Ex-Gopher Nelson will plead guilty to a misdemeanor in the Kolstad assault case.

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Former Gopher quarterback Philip Nelson plead guilty Tuesday in the attack that left former Mankato State University linebacker Isaac Kolstad with brain trauma. I offer my sincere apologies to everyone involved, and I wish Isaac Kolstad the best as he continues in his recovery.” Nelson was originally charged with two felony counts of assault and faced up to 20 years in prison. Fleming, Nelson entered a plea of guilty to fifth degree assault, a misdemeanor charge, and all felonies have been dropped. “I still don’t remember what happened that night after I was hit in the head, but I recognize that I let down my family and friends by my actions. According to witness statements, an angered Nelson shoved Kolstad, a 2013 graduate of Minnesota State, Mankato, and a former football player for the school, after mistaking him for a bouncer who had kissed his girlfriend. Defense attorney James Fleming said Tuesday that Nelson will enter the guilty plea to fifth-degree assault, which carries a maximum jail sentence of 90 days.

Nelson’s attorney had argued prosecutors couldn’t justify a first-degree assault charge because doctors say Nelson’s kick didn’t cause Kolstad’s injuries. KEYC News 12 has confirmed that Nelson has reached out to Bowling Green State University in Ohio – but it’s believed there are more colleges he’s interested in attending.

He cannot talk about the case, although he’s hopeful to be exonerated with attorneys presenting evidence that his alleged kick to Kolstad’s head did not cause brain damage. He walked onto the Mankato State football field with his old teammates at one game this fall, but he still struggles to speak and is also going to various forms of therapy. Nelson sustained a concussion as a result of being knocked to the ground, his lawyer’s statement said, adding that he has been receiving treatment for his injury.

Nelson suffers from post-traumatic amnesia, an after effect of the concussion, and doesn’t have a memory of the May 11 incident but “has reviewed the video and acknowledges what he did,” the statement said. Nelson grew up in Mankato and lives in Mankato and while the legal case has played out, he’s afraid to leave his home and enter the public spotlight. “You’re obviously nervous to go out in social situations and things like that, but as time has grown on, I’ve owned up to everything that has happened,” Nelson said. But what he wants to be is more than a football player, he wants to share his story. “This is a couple seconds of my life, it doesn’t define who I am.

I just know that I’m 21 years old and I’ve got plenty of life to live,” Nelson said. “Any way I can share my experience and help other people learn from my mistake, that would be something that I would really look forward to doing. This is real life, this is way more important than any football game I’ve played in my life.” This is not just about Nelson, of course, it’s about Isaac Kolstad and Trevor Shelley, and who did what to who.

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