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Clarkfield man pleads guilty to charges from high-speed chase

GRANITE FALLS -- The 29-year-old Clarkfield man who allegedly led law enforcement on a high-speed chase this August in the Clarkfield area, damaging corn and soybean crops along the way, pleaded guilty Monday to a raft of connected charges.

GRANITE FALLS - The 29-year-old Clarkfield man who allegedly led law enforcement on a high-speed chase this August in the Clarkfield area, damaging corn and soybean crops along the way, pleaded guilty Monday to a raft of connected charges.
Matthew James Nelson pleaded guilty to felony fleeing a peace officer in a motor vehicle and fifth-degree drug possession, gross misdemeanor charges of fifth-degree assault of a peace officer and driving after cancellation-inimical to public safety; and a misdemeanor charge of obstructing the legal process.
As a result of a plea agreement, an additional felony charge of second-degree assault with a dangerous weapon will be dismissed.
He also pleaded guilty Monday to two charges that were added later through the course of the investigation: felony first-degree damage to property and misdemeanor receiving stolen property.
Sentencing is set for November.
The Yellow Medicine County Sheriffโ€™s Office reported after the arrest that Nelson had escaped from a deputy who tried to take him into custody Aug. 6. Nelson got into his pickup truck and fled with deputies in pursuit, driving through soybean and corn fields before stopping in the middle of a cornfield and fleeing on foot.
Law officers were unable to locate him, but received a call the next day that Nelson was sleeping in a Clarkfield home and took him into custody.
An amended criminal complaint filed Aug. 25 indicated that Nelson allegedly caused damage of around $2,900 while driving through corn and soybean fields fleeing from law enforcement, accounting for the first-degree damage to property charge to which he pleaded guilty on Monday. Court documents indicated that a traffic sign and the crops of five different farmers were damaged in the high-speed chase.
The charge of receiving stolen property was added after a Yellow Medicine County sheriffโ€™s deputy also reported that the tires on the pickup Nelson was driving during the high-speed chase were stolen from Monte Motors. The tires and rims are valued at $1,100.

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