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Two arrested in Slayton after money reported stolen

SLAYTON -- Two people from central Minnesota were charged earlier this week in a case involving stolen cash in Murray County, according to court documents.

Katelyn Jane Nelson, 19, of Ashby, and Travis William Kort, 22, of Elizabeth, were both brought in for questioning after the burglary was reported, and it took several conversations with authorities before the two admitted involvement.

The criminal complaint states the Slayton Police Department was notified of the stolen money by a complainant, who was chasing Kort on foot in Slayton at about 4 p.m.

Based on the description from the complainant, an officer stopped a man on 30th Street and asked what was going on. The man, later identified as Kort, acted as though nothing was wrong until the officer asked if someone was chasing him. Kort then stated a man had grabbed him and demanded money.

The complainant told the officer Kort and Nelson had taken approximately $600 from his daughter's residence, and he had confronted them about the alleged burglary.

Kort said he had only met the victim the day before and didn't know where her money was. He showed the officer the $48 in his wallet and said he had spent some money the night before at a bar. He said the victim had grabbed him by the throat, alleging an assault. He reported he had known the victim had money in her room because she had shown it to Nelson the night before and told her not to steal it.

The officer spoke with the complainant, explaining there wasn't enough evidence to support charges. The complainant was concerned Kort may have ditched the money during the foot chase.

Nelson arrived at the scene and said she didn't know where the victim lived and had been with Kort all night. The officer advised them to stay away from the victim and complainant.

Shortly after the officer left the scene, the complainant called to say he had found money in a yard on the chase route. The officer arrived and picked up the money, finding $250. He tracked down Kort and Nelson and placed Kort under arrest. Nelson became angry and started talking about being underage and served alcohol at the bar the night before. When the officer mentioned she was admitting to underage drinking, she retracted her statement and said the bar had attempted to serve her.

At the law enforcement center, Kort admitted to running through yards, but denied taking the money. The officer ended the interview, but Kort asked to speak with him a second time, requesting a phone to call an attorney. The officer told Kort he would get that opportunity when he was brought to the Lyon County Jail. Kort then said he wished to speak on the record again, and told the officer he didn't need money because his parents are rich. He said he didn't take the money, but admitted Nelson might have. He pleaded not to be arrested.

The officer contacted Nelson again and asked for a formal interview. She denied knowing what had happened to the money. He then interviewed Kort again, who said Nelson had told him that morning she had stolen the cash. With that admission, the officer felt he had enough evidence to arrest Nelson, and made arrangements to meet with her. She was arrested and brought to the law enforcement center for another interview.

At that time, Nelson allegedly admitted she had taken the money and had given some of it to Kort. She said the two of them had gone into the apartment while they were on a walk from the bar, and stated she was the one who went into the bedroom to take the cash. She admitted the rest of the cash was under the passenger seat of the car her mother was driving.

Nelson is charged with third-degree burglary and theft, while Kort faces charges of fourth-degree burglary and receiving stolen property. Both were released on their own recognizance and are scheduled to make court appearances July 23 in Murray County District Court.