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Dickinson man faces felony vehicle use charge

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The Dickinson Press
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Dickinson North Dakota 1815 1st Street West 58602

Despite pleas to the court Wednesday, a Dickinson man will continue to be held without bond until a hearing next month on charges that he used a motor vehicle he obtained unlawfully.

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Nathan Allen Nelson, 46, who appeared in court for his bond hearing via interactive television from the Southwest Multi-County Correction Center and laid his head on the table after learning he would remain incarcerated until his revocation of probation hearing Dec. 10, as requested by Stark County Assistant State's Attorney Rhonda Ehlis at a bond reduction hearing at the Stark County Courthouse.

Nelson was allegedly driving a 2002 Chevrolet pickup Tuesday that he had obtained from a car dealer in Williston two weeks earlier for a test drive, according to the criminal complaint.

The unauthorized use of a motor vehicle is a Class C felony, which carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $5,000 fine if convicted.

Nelson's attorney, Jay Greenwood, said his client has been in the community since about 2001 and hoped to secure either a bond of less than $1,000 or a personal recognizance bond.

Ehlis said she was not confident that Nelson would be able to stay with family in Bowman because she did not know if they would be willing to take responsibility for him.

Nelson did admit during a statement in court Wednesday that he has some issues he needs to work through.

He said that he wanted to be able to do that from outside of jail, where he would be able to be work while he waits for his hearing.

"I have had trouble staying in touch with my probation officer, but I have spoken three times with my probation officer since I've been in here," Nelson said. "My dad said he would help me get a job. Being able to work is important to me. I know I have not been law abiding, but I have noticed a change in myself, and I do not want to rot in jail when I could be out there working."

Judge H. Patrick Weir, however, disagreed with Nelson's assessment of the situation he finds himself in.

"It seems to me you have been given plenty of opportunities and I will leave the no bond in place until your hearing next month," Weir said.

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