A major development came down Friday in the assault case against former University of Minnesota quarterback Philip Nelson. A forensic expert says it's not clear that Nelson's kick contributed to Isaac Kolstad's brain injury.
A second medical opinion, written by Dr. Michael McGee, found Kolstad's injuries came primarily from the initial punch by Trevor Shelley, and by his head slamming on the ground. Kolstad's injuries included a skull fracture, brain shifting, brain bleeding and lung damage.
"My overall impression of this case is that the majority and possibly all of the injuries described in Mr. Kolstad are related to the initial punch and subsequent fall to the street surface," Dr. McGee wrote in a letter to the prosecution. "While Mr. Nelson may be responsible for some of the above described injuries, based on the information provided, I am unable to state to a medical certainty that this is the case."
Dr. McGee is not a defense witness -- in fact, he was asked by the prosecutors to assess Kolstad's medical records -- but this new analysis is now part of a defense motion to dismiss felony assault charges against Nelson.Nelson is charged with first-degree and third-degree assault for his role in the May 11, 2014 altercation outside of a bar in Mankato, Minn. But in light of these new forensic findings, the Blue Earth County attorney said he is reevaluating the felony assault case against Nelson.