DODGEVILLE (WKOW) – Body camera video shows Iowa County District Attorney Larry Nelson suddenly falling down during an investigation of his alleged drunken driving.
Nelson’s first offense operating while intoxicated case is scheduled for a court hearing Oct. 24 in Iowa County. Sauk County Judge Patricia Barrett was appointed Tuesday to hear the case.
In the video obtained by 27 News, a responding Iowa County sheriff’s deputy stands along with Nelson near Nelson’s town of Mineral Point home just around 9 a.m. Sept. 16. Nelson tells the deputy he inadvertently activated his sedan’s OnStar feature, leading to a 911 call.
In the video, Nelson suddenly falls to the ground.
“Stay down, Larry, stay down,” the deputy tells Nelson. “No,” Nelson responds. “Stay down, we need to get you looked at,” the deputy urges Nelson.
Personnel from the Grant County Sheriff’s Office responded to the scene to take over the investigation. On video, Nelson’s wife tells a deputy Nelson was drinking wine in the morning prior to the arrival of deputies. Authorities say Nelson drove to a Kwik Trip store before his return home and contact with responding law enforcement.
Records show Nelson’s blood alcohol level was 0.21 — nearly three times the state’s legal limit.
Sheriff’s reports state Nelson admitted to drinking the previous day while “celebrating” the Badgers football team’s loss to BYU. In the video, Nelson is wearing a red, University of Wisconsin t-shirt.
In a statement to 27 News, Nelson says his actions belie his professional view of operating while under the influence.
“As this county’s top prosecutor, I fully understand the importance of combating drunken driving,” Nelson says.
“I am deeply ashamed by my conduct,” he says.
Nelson’s arrest took place on a Sunday. On the following Monday, he returned to work to prosecute alleged drunken drivers and others.
Although the investigation into Nelson’s case is being handled by Grant County sheriff’s personnel to avoid any appearance of a conflict of interest, body camera and other video was released to 27 News by the Iowa County Sheriff’s Office.
Nelson says he intends to plead guilty.