Trial starts for man accused in ATV death
Ten witnesses took the stand Tuesday as a trial involving a Lake Park man began this week. Jeremy Scott Nelson of Lake Park is charged with three felony counts of criminal vehicular homicide related to an accident that occurred Aug. 17, 2008 arou...
Ten witnesses took the stand Tuesday as a trial involving a Lake Park man began this week.
Jeremy Scott Nelson of Lake Park is charged with three felony counts of criminal vehicular homicide related to an accident that occurred Aug. 17, 2008 around 3 a.m.
Opening statements began Monday afternoon. Witnesses are expected to testify through the end of this week before closing arguments take place.
Nelson was allegedly driving more than 90 mph south of Lake Park when his Chevy pickup truck struck an ATV from behind. The driver of the ATV, Christopher Wade Carlson, of rural Lake Park was found dead at the scene.
Bureau of Criminal Apprehension special agent Dan Baumann testified at the trial Tuesday. He said he was asked to follow up on the investigation by the Becker County Sheriff's Department because Nelson had not been immediately found at the accident scene.
Nelson was reportedly missing until his father contacted a sheriff deputy - who responded to the scene - and told him Nelson needed treatment at St. Mary's Hospital and could be found there.
Baumann obtained phone records from Nelson's cell phone as well as some of his family members and friends including his sister, Lisa Nelson, and Kyle Bergren.
The phone records, presented at the trial, showed a number of phone calls made to and from Nelson to Bergren and Lisa Nelson between approximately 2 and 8 a.m.
Baumann said Bergren told the BCA that he deleted all the voicemails he had saved on his phone. Defense attorneys questioned whether the BCA intended to obtain voicemails and Baumann answered, not in this case.
The main question raised by defense attorneys was whether any of the phone calls related to the accident.
Baumann indicated the BCA has no way of knowing the content of the calls.
Another witness who testified Tuesday afternoon was Carly Kirkwood, seasonal server at the Cormorant Pub, where Nelson and Carlson were reportedly seen the night of the accident.
She said she remembers specifically that she served Nelson two beers throughout the night. She also recalls seeing his truck at the parking lot of the Road House bar after she finished her shift around midnight.
Defense attorneys asked if Kirkwood noticed signs of Nelson being intoxicated with bloodshot eyes, slurred speech or out-of-balance movements and she said she doesn't believe he was intoxicated.
According to the criminal complaint, Nelson's blood alcohol level allegedly tested at .05 percent approximately five hours after the accident. The legal limit is .08 percent.
Carlson was also seen at the Cormorant Pub the night of the accident, according to Kirkwood. But when the defense attorneys asked if Carlson appeared intoxicated, the trial was interrupted by Clay County prosecuting attorney Brian Melton.
Judge Peter Irvine briefly met with the counselors privately, then concluded there were issues that needed to be resolved before the trial continued and ended testimony about 30 minutes earl