Princeton man charged in death of Isanti motorcyclist

A young Isanti man was just miles from home the night of Tuesday, Oct. 2, when he encountered a person “who had no business being on the road,” according to Assistant Isanti County Attorney David Kraemer.

Joseph Robert Bollin, Jr., 46, of Princeton was charged in Isanti County District Court on Thursday, Oct. 4, with felony criminal vehicular homicide—operating a motor vehicle under the influence of a controlled substance—causing the death of 36-year-old Matthew Charles Stuart.

Joseph Robert Bollin, Jr.
Joseph Robert Bollin, Jr.

According to the criminal complaint, on Tuesday, Oct. 2, around 9:55 p.m., Bollin was driving a 1996 Mercury Sable, towing a two-wheeled car dolly with a Ford F-150 pick-up truck attached to it, heading northbound on Hwy. 47 in Bradford Township.

Investigators determined Bollin crossed the center line and struck head-on with Stuart, who was  driving a Kawasaki motorcycle. Stuart, who was wearing a protective motorcycle jacket and helmet, was pronounced dead at the scene.

When discussing bail and conditions of release for Bollin, Kraemer noted when Probation Agent Kari Ohman met with Bollin on Oct. 3 to complete a pretrial bail evaluation, he admitted to using methamphetamine on Oct. 1, one day prior to the fatal crash.

Bollin is currently on probation as a result of a felony fifth degree drug possession charge filed in Isanti County on July 15. Under his conditions of release for this charge, he was ordered to not use or possess alcohol or controlled substances, and submit to random drug and alcohol testing as directed by law enforcement.

Kraemer pointed out that on Sept. 14, Bollin tested positive for amphetamine and on Sept. 17, Isanti County Judge James Dehn ordered Bollin to pay a $300 cash performance bond as a condition of his release for the violation.

“The defendant’s continued drug use has lead to the death of an innocent civilian,” Kraemer said. “I can’t think of a more public safety risk for our community, as well as the defendant’s complete flaunting of a court order.”

Judge P. Hunter Anderson set bail for Bollin at $300,000 without conditions or $150,000 with conditions. In doing so, Judge Anderson said he “shares Mr. Kraemer’s public safety concerns.”

Conditions for Bollin include no use or possession of alcohol or controlled substances unless medically prescribed; no contact with the victim’s family or potential witnesses; submit to random drug and alcohol testing; no use or possession of firearms or dangerous weapons; surrender his driver’s license; and no operating a motor vehicle.

Kraemer, who noted the victim’s family and friends were in the courtroom, said Stuart was close to home the night of the fatal crash.

“Mr. Bollin, on Oct. 2, was operating a motor vehicle heading northbound on Hwy. 47 under the influence of methamphetamine when he crossed over the center line,” Kraemer said. “Meanwhile, Mr. Stuart was travelling southbound on his Kawaski motorcycle when the defendant struck him head-on. Mr. Stuart almost made it home until he encountered a person who had no business being on the road.”

Kraemer noted the criminal vehicular homicide charge is the sixth felony charge lodged against Bollin.

“The defendant is a public safety risk,” Kraemer said. “It’s heartbreaking to have to meet with Mr. Stuart’s friends and family and have to put a dollar value on his life when discussing bail amounts.”


According to the criminal complaint, troopers located a skid mark in the southbound lane that started near the center of the line, and gradually angled toward the fog line on the west side of the road. Several feet before the skid mark ended, the troopers located a large gouge in the middle of the southbound lane. The troopers determined the gouge was the area of the impact where the Mercury Sable struck the motorcycle. The motorcycle was found pinned under the front tires of the Mercury Sable.

When the troopers spoke to Bollin as he stood next to his vehicle, he admitted he was the driver of the Mercury Sable and he was travelling northbound at the time of the crash. He said he didn’t see the motorcycle prior to the crash because it was foggy. The troopers said there wasn’t any fog at the crash location.

While speaking to Bollin, the troopers noticed his eyes were watery and he was slightly stuttering. They also noticed his hands were visibly shaky and he was fidgety.

After Bollin was placed under arrest, he was transported to Cambridge Medical Center for a blood sample. The sample has been sent to the Bureau of Comprehension for analysis.

While in Isanti County Jail on Oct. 3, officers asked Bollin to provide a urine sample at four different times, and each time he refused.

Bollin was granted a public defender in the case, and his next court appearance is set for Oct. 11.