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Man who attacked former Mankato football player in 2014 violates probation and goes to prison

Trevor Shelley now must serve a seven year prison sentence, which was held over his head at an earlier sentencing.

MANKATO, Minn. — Editor's note: The attached video originally aired on May 13, 2016

When Trevor Shelley was sentenced for the attack that nearly killed former Mankato State football player Isaac Kolstad, Judge Bradley Walker gave him a break.

Judge Walker departed from the Minnesota Sentencing Guidelines and sentenced Shelley to 150 days in the county jail with five years of probation, noting that Shelley showed remorse and was a good candidate for probation.

But after Shelley failed to stay away from drugs and alcohol and absconded from probation for nearly three years, a different judge – Gregory Anderson – revoked Shelly's probation and sentenced him to 86 months in the Minnesota State Penitentiary.

The assault happened in May 2014 outside a downtown Mankato nightclub. Shelley admitted punching former Mavericks linebacker Isaac Kolstad. Former University of Minnesota quarterback Philip Nelson then kicked Kolstad in the head.

Kolstad suffered a fractured skull and traumatic brain injury and has continued his long recovery in the years that have followed. 

Nelson avoided jail time with his plea deal.

Court documents reveal Shelley's difficulties in following the rules of his probation since his initial sentencing in March 2016.

Eight months later, Shelley tested positive for cocaine and was reinstated on probation. 

In September 2017, Shelley admitted using marijuana and failing to contact his probation agent. At that time, the judge added the 86-month prison sentence but stayed execution, which means the term was held over his head with the agreement he would follow the rules of his probation.

In August 2018, Shelley used alcohol and admitted to providing a diluted sample in his chemical use evaluation. The judge issued a warrant for his arrest, but Shelley did not surrender until June 2021.

Shelley testified that he smoked marijuana but claimed the positive alcohol test was the result of drinking kombucha. As for his reason for avoiding his probation officer from August 2018 to June 2021, Shelley said he was afraid of the consequences and received faulty legal advice from a non-lawyer.

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