Man sentenced to 4 years for felony DWI charges

Published 10:20 am Saturday, February 6, 2010

A Claremont, Minn., man whose truck was found abandoned and burning by Austin police in November was sentenced to four years in jail Friday on a felony DWI charge.

Jack Steven Nelson, 51, is eligible for up to 16 months of supervised release as part of his sentence. He pleaded guilty to the charge in December.

According to a criminal complaint, officers responded on Nov. 12 to a call regarding a burning truck in the Shopko parking lot.

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The front end of the vehicle, which officers discovered was registered to Nelson, was completely engulfed in flames.

Officers also found a case of beer on the ground near the burning truck.

While investigating the incident, an officer received a radio call regarding a male looking into the back windows of some properties on the 2000 block of Eighth Street Northwest.

The officer arrived to find Nelson sitting on the patio of a townhouse. He was arrested on-site and taken first to the Shopko lot and later to the Law Enforcement Center.

Nelson, who had watery, bloodshot eyes and seemed noticeably drunk, said the truck did not belong to him and said he didn’t know who was driving it. However, a witness at the lot said they saw Nelson leave the vehicle.

Nelson also said the home he was found at belonged to his aunt and he was trying to contact her, the complaint states.

At the LEC, Nelson asked to call an attorney before taking a breath test. After making several calls, Nelson still refused to take a test, saying, “I don’t need to be implicated on anything.”

According to the complaint, Nelson’s driving status is “canceled.” He was also convicted of a felony DWI in Dodge County in January 2008.