The Free Press, Mankato, MN

Local News

July 17, 2014

Nelson's attorney wants Kolstad's medical information

Scans could determine damage from separate assaults

MANKATO — An attorney representing the former Gopher quarterback facing first-degree assault charges is asking a judge to order prosecutors to provide medical evidence.

A motion hearing has been scheduled Monday for Philip Nelson, the 20-year-old former college football player accused of kicking Isaac Kolstad in the head after Kolstad was punched during an altercation.

Nelson's attorney, Jim Fleming, wants 11 computerized tomography or CT scans that were taken at Mayo Clinic Health Systems in Mankato between May 11 and May 20.

Nelson and Kolstad got into an argument outside the bars in Mankato's downtown entertainment district during the early morning hours of May 11, according to the criminal complaint charging Nelson with one count of first- and third-degree assault. Surveillance video showed Kolstad pushing Nelson before another man, 21-year-old Trevor Shelley, ran up and punched Kolstad in the head, investigators reported. Shelley also has been charged with felony assault.

Witnesses told investigators Kolstad's head hit the concrete hard when he fell. After he was on the ground, apparently unconscious, Nelson allegedly kicked Kolstad in the head. Kolstad had been hospitalized since the incident and is now undergoing through rehabilitation. His family recently reported he is saying a few simple words.

Fleming said he needs the CT scans to learn more about Kolstad's injuries so he can prepare a defense for Nelson. The CT scans could show whether the punch and Kolstad's fall to the ground or the kick to the head caused the most damage.

"I'm still trying to evaluate the case," Fleming said. "This is my investigation phase. I'm trying to uncover more information about this young man's injuries."

Fleming said the scans are the only evidence he needs to complete the medical portion of his investigation. He also said he knows they exist — Mayo Health System staff have confirmed that — but he hasn't been told why it isn't being provided.

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