NYM man acquitted on murder; convicted for leaving scene
An East Central District Court jury last week acquitted a New York Mills man of murder but convicted him of leaving the scene of a fatal accident. Judge Steven McCullough ordered a presentence investigation for Kenneth Jacob Jr., 50. He did not s...
An East Central District Court jury last week acquitted a New York Mills man of murder but convicted him of leaving the scene of a fatal accident.
Judge Steven McCullough ordered a presentence investigation for Kenneth Jacob Jr., 50. He did not set a sentencing date.
Jacob was convicted of a Class B felony, with a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison and a $10,000 fine.
The murder charge carried was a AA felony, with a maximum sentence of life without parole.
McCullough gave jurors the option of finding Jacob guilty of the lesser charge of negligent homicide, but they did not.
Jacob faced the charges in connection with the June 10 death of Stephen Nelson, 52. Jacob ran over Nelson, who was lying behind his gravel truck, about 11 p.m. that day in a parking lot in Fargo. Jacob then drove off and spent the evening in Detroit Lakes.
Jacob didnt deny that he ran over Nelson, who had a 0.42 percent blood alcohol level at the time of his death. But he said he didnt know Nelson was lying behind his truck, a claim disputed by the prosecution.
Jacob testified he inadvertently shifted the truck into reverse before leaving the lot, accidentally running over Nelson. He also testified that he felt a bump when he went in reverse and another when he pulled forward. Jurors seized on that in judging that he knew hed run over Nelson, Meyer said.
Jacobs attorney, Steve Mottinger, said it was kind of a bittersweet victory for us.
While the jury didnt buy the prosecutions claim that Jacob knowingly killed Nelson, the jury obviously filled in the blanks in convicting him of the other charge, Mottinger said.
Prosecutor Mark Boening said he is disappointed with the verdict.
He said that even though Nelson shouldnt have been behind the truck, the mere fact that a persons under the influence does not mean you can run him over.
Boening said if not for three prosecution witnesses - two women who saw the accident happen and a man who saw Jacobs truck driving down NP Avenue and called police to identify it - Jacob never would have been connected with Nelsons death.