B.E. player appears in court
BLUE EARTH — Dalton Nagel, one of four Blue Earth Area football players facing charges after an alleged assault in October, appeared Monday in Faribault County Court for his pre-trial hearing.
According to the police report, four football players — Wyatt Tungland, Nagel, Blake Barnett and Caden Ochsendorf — reportedly punched and slapped a teammate until he was unconscious at a party on Oct. 18, causing a concussion, along with severe bruising and swelling to his face.
Nagel, 18, is being charged with aiding and abetting third-degree assault causing substantial bodily harm.
His attorney, Michael Kircher, argued Monday that the police reports, written by the Winnebago Police Department, seem to come to certain conclusions that are not supported by statements collected during the investigation. In the original police report, Kircher said, it indicates the alleged victim was held down and beaten. Kircher said this did not appear in the statements.
Kircher also argued there are clear and consistent facts in the witness statements from the night of the alleged assault. Kircher said the statements indicate that the alleged victim arrived at a party with his teammates Oct. 18, and that he either arrived intoxicated or left the party and came back intoxicated, eventually throwing up, removing his clothing and passing out.
Kircher said the statements also show that his teammates attempted to hold the alleged victim to avoid him running outside or being too loud. During that time, Kircher said, the alleged victim was struck.
Kircher said the statements also indicate that the alleged victim was taken home by his teammates the next morning. In the backseat of the car, the alleged victim supposedly took a selfie with the caption, “I’m still hammered.” According to Kircher, no bruises or injuries appeared in the photo.
The alleged victim had three weeks of football practice following the alleged assault, along with playing three games before seeking medical attention on Nov. 6 and reporting the alleged assault on Nov. 9. Kircher said that according to the medical report, the alleged victim showed symptoms of a concussion. However, he said, according to the medical report, the alleged victim also indicated he was hit so hard while playing in the Oct. 28 football game that his helmet cracked. Kircher argued there is no evidence the alleged concussion was a result of what occurred on Oct. 18.
Kircher said the only indication that the alleged victim may have sustained a concussion on Oct. 18 was that he was vomiting, which Kircher said may be due to the claims that he was intoxicated.
“With regards to losing consciousness, there is nothing in any of the information that’s been provided by the state, it is clear there is nothing that indicates this young man was struck and lost consciousness,” Kircher said. “The statements all seem to indicate he was so intoxicated that he eventually passed out. There is no evidence that would cause a reasonable person to believe that this young man lost consciousness as a result of being struck.”
Kircher said Nagel should not stand trial, due to a lack of evidence to support probable cause for the charge of aiding and abetting assault in the third degree.
Prosecutor Graham Berg-Moberg countered Kircher’s statements, saying his claims that the state can provide no evidence to show that the alleged victim suffered substantial bodily harm as a result of the incident are “simply not correct.” Berg-Moberg said the doctor that the alleged victim saw diagnosed him with a concussion as a result of the alleged assault. Berg-Moberg also said the police evidence shows substantial bodily harm.
Berg-Moberg said whether the alleged concussion is a result of an incident on Oct. 18 is an issue for a jury.
Judge Douglas Richards was given a packet that includes police reports, search warrants, interviews and medical reports to review.
On Monday afternoon, Tungland, who is charged with third-degree assault causing substantial bodily harm, as well as aiding and abetting third-degree assault, made his first court appearance. He is scheduled to have a two-hour omnibus hearing, with the date yet to be determined.