MANKATO, Minn. (AP) — A man accused of punching a former Minnesota State, Mankato, football player in the head and knocking him to the ground was charged with two felony assault counts Wednesday after a weekend attack that left the former Mavericks linebacker in critical condition.
Police had arrested Trevor Stenner Shelley, 21, of St. Peter, a few hours after they released video showing a man in a red shirt running from the scene as bars were closing in downtown Mankato early Sunday. A criminal complaint says witnesses identified Shelley as the man suspected of punching Isaac Dallas Kolstad, 24.
Former Minnesota quarterback Philip Nelson 20, was charged with two assault counts Monday. He is accused of kicking Kolstad in the head after he was already defenseless.
Shelley told an investigator he didn't hit anyone, the complaint said. But a witness told police that Shelley told him shortly after the incident that he had been downtown "and that he walked up to someone that was 'starting something' with Nelson, and 'wound up and hit him as hard as he could,'" it said. The witness said Shelley was wearing a red shirt that was "halfway off" when they spoke.
Shelley went free on $20,000 bail shortly after his first court appearance. He's due back in court May 22.
Defense attorney Michael Padden told KEYC-TV they'll argue self-defense.
"This young man has a perfectly viable defense. I'm confident when all the evidence is on the table, he will be exonerated," he said.
While Nelson told police he didn't know the man in the red shirt, the complaint says a detective determined Nelson and Shelley were Facebook friends, and that both attended Mankato West High School about the same time. Nelson's attorney, Jim Fleming, said he didn't know if there was any significance to them being Facebook friends.
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