CHARGES: Shelley denies knockout punch to Kolstad - FOX 35 News Orlando

MANKATO ASSAULT: 2nd suspect says he didn't punch Isaac Kolstad

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Trevor Shelley (left) and Philip Nelson (right) Trevor Shelley (left) and Philip Nelson (right)
MANKATO, Minn. (KMSP) - A criminal complaint was filed Wednesday against a second suspect in a Mankato assault that has former Minnesota State-Mankato linebacker Isaac Kolstad fighting for his life and former Gophers quarterback Philip Nelson dismissed from Rutgers and facing felony charges.


Trevor Shelley, 21, of St. Peter, was arrested on Monday at 6:15 p.m. on first- and third-degree assault charges like Nelson. Police said Shelley was aware police were searching for him and called them himself. Earlier that day, a witness identified Shelley as the suspect seen fleeing in a ripped red shirt from video surveillance. The witness also told police he was the one that grabbed Shelley by the shirt, ripping it.

According to assault charges, Shelley allegedly delivered a punch that left Kolstad unconscious and "defenseless" before he was allegedly kicked in the head by Nelson, but Shelley told police he did not hit Kolstad, even after hearing that surveillance cameras may have captured the incident.

A witness who knows Shelley told police he saw him in a ripped red t-shirt at 3 a.m. that morning at a friend's house. The witness said Shelley told him he walked up to someone that was "starting something" with Nelson and "wound up and hit him as hard as he could."

An officer who reviewed footage said Kolstad went down immediately after being punched in the face by a suspect in a red shirt.

Shelley told police he was leaving Blue Bricks Bar around closing time and saw a group of people including Nelson and Nelson's girlfriend. He said he saw Kolstad hit Nelson in the back but denied hitting anyone himself and said he didn't see Nelson hit or kick Kolstad.


Although Shelley denies punching Kolstad at all, the defense attorney he's hired is already arguing self-defense.

"I'm not going to talk about specific facts of the case, but there's a very viable self-defense defense and we'll be utilizing that," Mike Padden said.

Additionally, although Nelson had claimed neither he nor his girlfriend knew of Shelley, Padden openly contradicted that information by telling Fox 9 News, "He knows Mr. Nelson. I can tell you he does know Mr. Nelson."

Both Nelson and Shelley are graduates of Mankato West High School.


Allegedly, the argument involved conversation surrounding a bar bouncer hitting on Nelson's girlfriend.

RAW VIDEO: Mankato assault suspect on surveillance video

Police found Kolstad at 2:09 a.m. Sunday morning near the intersection of Cherry and South Front streets in front of Blue Bricks Bar on a busy night of graduation celebrations. The 24-year-old remains in a medically-induced coma and in critical condition at Mayo Clinic Health System-Mankato.

Kolstad's injuries include a skull fracture, brain shifting, brain bleeding and lung deterioration due to lack of oxygen. Kolstad's skull fracture is on the left side of his head, the same area where Nelson allegedly kicked him. Nelson smelled of alcohol after the alleged assault, charges say.

Both Nelson and Kolstad are Mankato natives. Nelson played in high school for Mankato West and Kolstad for Mankato East, though it's unclear if the two knew each other. Kolstad graduated from MSU-Mankato last December with a degree in business management and administration. He works as a sales representative for Fastenal. He is newly married with a daughter, Haidyn, and another daughter on the way -- his wife is currently 38 weeks pregnant and is due to give birth at the end of this month.

MORE: Philip Nelson dismissed from Rutgers football program

Kolstad's father has been providing updates on his son's condition on a CaringBridge page.

A YouCaring site has also been set up to help the Isaac, Molly & Haidyn Kolstad. Please do what you can to support this young wonderful family during this difficult time.

Isaac remains in critical condition. Please keep Isaac and all those involved in your prayers.

PHOTOS: #22STRONG for Isaac Kolstad
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