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For immediate release – Friday, July 10, 2009. [Updated 11/05/2009]
Contact Bob Brammer – 515-281-6699 or rbrammer@ag.state.ia.us.

Mark D. Becker Prosecution

The State of Iowa filed first-degree murder charges on June 30, 2009, against Mark D. Becker in the death of Edward Thomas on June 24, 2009, in Parkersburg.

The prosecution is being handled cooperatively by Butler County Attorney Greg Lievens and the Iowa Attorney General’s Office, at the request of the Butler County Attorney. (Assistant Attorney General Scott Brown is the AG’s prosecutor in the matter.)

The Attorney General’s Office and County Attorney have issued occasional public information on the matter (see bottom for later developments):

  • Trial Information filed naming Mark D. Becker in Edward Thomas murder. [Go to 7-1-09 e-mail message, including link to the Trial Information filed 6-30-09 in the alleged murder, and to a Trial Information filed in a second unrelated charge, “Eluding or Attempting to Elude....”]

  • Becker enters written pleas of not guilty. [Go to “Written Arraignment and Plea of Not Guilty”, filed 7-2-09.]

  • Mark Becker trial dates set. [Go to Judge Stephen Carroll’s orders setting trial at 9 a.m. Sept. 15, 2009, for the First Degree Murder charge, and 9 a.m. October 27 for the Eluding/Attempting to Elude charge.] [Mark Becker later waived his right to speedy trial.]

  • Mark Becker “Notice of Defenses” filed. [Go to Notice of Defenses, filed 7-13-09.] The Notice of Defenses states that Mr. Becker “intends to rely on the defenses of insanity and/or diminished responsibility.”    A couple other filings also are attached to the filing on “Notice of Defenses.”

  • “Order for Hearing” entered for July 28 hearing on Defendant’s motions. [Go to Order for Hearing issued July 21, 2009.] The order sets a hearing at 9:30 a.m. July 28, at the Law Enforcement Center in Mason City, on the Defendant’s Motion to Produce, and on the Defendant’s Motion to Unseal and Open Committal files. UPDATE as of 7-27-09: The hearing set for 7-28-09 was postponed to a later date to be determined. UPDATE 8-7-09: After a telephone hearing (by conference call on 7-29-09), Judge Carroll issued an Order on 8-7-09 granting the Defendant's Motion to Unseal.

  • Mark Becker “Application to Determine Competency” filed August 25, 2009. [Go to Application.] [Go to prosecutors’ Response to Application to Determine Competency, filed August 26, 2009.] [Go to Judge Carroll’s Order for Probable Cause Hearing, entered August 27, 2009.] [On August 31, Judge Carroll notified the parties that he had found probable cause to schedule a competency hearing for 9:30 a.m. Sept. 10. Go to Order filed Sept. 3.] [Judge Carroll rules Mark Becker is competent to stand trial. Go to order filed Oct. 5, 2009.]

  • Mark BeckerMotion to Suppress" Defendant's statements is filed Sept. 8, 2009, andMotion to Allow Defendant to Wear Street Clothes,” also filed Sept. 8.. Prosecutors expect to resist the motion to suppress (grounds for resistance will be summarized when resistance is filed), and expect not to resist the motion to allow street clothes, unless the Sheriff identifies a security risk.

  • Judge Stephen Carroll rules 10-5-09 that Mark Becker "is competent to stand trial." [Go to Judge Carroll's order.]

  • Mark Becker [Go to 10-12-09 waiver of right to speedy trial.]

  • Mark Becker [Go to 11-5-09 Withdrawal of Motion to Suppress.]

  • Mark Becker [Go to 12-11-09 Waiver of Right to Speedy Trial until Feb. 26, 2010.]

  • Judge Stephen Carroll sets first-degree murder trial date for 9 a.m. Feb. 8, 2010, at the Butler County Court House in Allison, Iowa [Go to Judge Carroll’s order, which was issued 12-23-09 and filed 12-28-09.]

  • Judge Stephen Carroll issues Order for Hearing on all pretrial motions for 10 a.m. Friday, January 29, 2010, at the Law Enforcement Center in Mason City, Iowa. Judge Carroll also issues Order for Examination by the State’s experts. [Go to Judge Carroll’s Order for Hearing and his Order for Examination, both of which were issued 1-13-10.] [Go to State’s pre-trial motions filed Jan. 21: motion re evidentiary issues, and Conditional Motion for Change of Venue.]

  • Judge Carroll conducts pre-trial motion hearing on January 29. Judge Carroll issued no rulings at the hearing. (Trial remains scheduled for February 8, 2010, in Butler County.)

  • Mark Becker was found guilty of first-degree murder on Tuesday, March 2, 2010, after a jury trial that commenced on February 10, 2010. The jury deliberated for more than 25 hours. Judge Stephen Carroll set sentencing for 10 a.m. Wednesday, April 14, at the Butler County Court House in Allison.

  • Go to Motion for new trial April 8, 2010. Go to Resistance to defendant's motion for new trial.
  • Go to Judgment and Sentence. April 14, 2010.

Contact: Bob Brammer, Iowa Attorney General’s Office, 515-281-6699.

Note: Defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty in a court of law.


Other information:

Iowa Department of Public Safety news releases are found at www.dps.state.ia.us (see under Public Information, and press releases.) DPS postings there include:

  • Iowa Department of Public Safety 6-24-09 news release that includes photograph of Mark Becker.

  • Iowa Department of Public Safety 7-10-09 news release with links to 9-1-1 tapes and State Trooper vehicle video recordings.