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November 15, 2018

11/1/2018 1:28:00 PM
Nelson pleads guilty in OWI case

Iowa County District Attorney Larry D. Nelson entered a guilty plea to OWI-first offense in Iowa County Court last Wednesday.
The date of his court appearance had been expected to be changed last Tuesday while a request for a substitute judge could be acted upon but was rescheduled early Wednesday when Michael Screnock was asked to preside over the proceedings. Judge Screnock is a circuit court judge in Sauk County.
John Rice, Assistant District Attorney from Dane County represented Iowa County while Nelson represented himself. Rice was appointed as a special prosecutor in the case.
Nelson was detained by the Grant County Sheriff's Department when he was found in his vehicle at his home after an ONSTAR alert was accidentally activated by Nelson. Upon arrival by law enforcement, Nelson was found to be impaired and a citation was filed September 28 for the OWI first offense.
Both attorneys presented a plea agreement that Screnock accepted and followed by asking Nelson to state his plea for the court.
The plea agreement has Nelson pleading guilty to OWI-first offense with a second charge of operating over the limit of 0.15 alcohol content level, filed on October 3, dismissed.
Also, Nelson will pay a $275 fine plus court costs, must have his driver's license revoked for seven months, undergo alcohol assessment and develop a driver's safety plan. He must also install an ignition interlock device for one year.
Nelson was granted an exemption which gave him until 6 p.m. on October 24 to surrender his license so he can drive home.
Nelson also asked that two vehicles, leased in his name, be exempt for the ignition interlock device required to install. One is driven by his wife and the other is driven his daughter, who lives in Verona and works in Madison. Nelson told the court his daughter is hearing impaired and would not be able to hear the device clearing her to drive the vehicle. Screnock agreed to the exemption for his daughter's car but denied he request for his wife's car, suggesting he change the title or lease agreement.
Nelson also told the court he had an appointment to have the ignition interlock device installed but the installer has to obtain the schematics for his vehicle to be able to accomplish this. Screnock, with agreement from attorney Rice, gave him 45 days. Nelson said he doubted it would take that long.
Judge Screnock thanked both parties for arriving at the plea which he said saves the county time and the expense of a trial.

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