The Ottumwa Courier

Local News

July 17, 2013

Murder scene, timeline detailed in Pollard trial

OTTUMWA — Witnesses gave a detailed description of the chronology of events surrounding Kenneth McDaniel's murder and the intricacies of the wounds he sustained.

Bruce Pollard has been charged with first-degree murder and first-degree robbery in the death of McDaniel, the Cinema X Theater manager, on March 11, 2012.

Opening statements painted starkly different pictures of the suspect, the victim and the theater.

Iowa Assistant Attorney General Scott Brown said McDaniel "had a simple life and a relatively meager existence, but he had a brutal and horrific death."

During Pollard's second interview with police on March 19, 2012, Brown said "in this instance, Bruce Pollard admits to killing Kenneth McDaniel."

"Bruce Pollard's version of what happened is that Kenneth McDaniel sexually came on to him, which is why the attack happened," Brown said.

But that wasn't the only time Pollard admitted to killing McDaniel, Brown said. Pollard also wrote a letter to his girlfriend's mother in which "he details how he killed Kenneth McDaniel."

The defense presented a different scenario. Attorney Allen Cook described Cinema X as a place "most people in Ottumwa probably wished never existed."

Cook also described McDaniel, who lived under the projectors in the theater and generally kept to himself, not often venturing into the community.

He said Pollard's troubled childhood -- "wrought with violence, substance abuse by his parents, a lot of anger" -- led to problems in his adolescent and adult life.

"You will likely find that Bruce Pollard suffers from PTSD as a result of his childhood experiences," Cook said.

This contributes to the defense's assertion of "diminished responsibility," which "essentially means that Bruce Pollard had some mental condition which did not allow him to form a specific, premeditated intent to kill," he said.

Text Only
Local News
  • 0731 OTT Aviation plane -T -M Flying free OTTUMWA — The financial obstacle may have been removed if your career goal starts with learning to fly. "We have it set up for three terms, about nine months," said pilot and chief flight instructor Darren Graham at Indian Hills Community College. "

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • Supervisors discuss pipeline potential KEOSAUQUA — Van Buren County Supervisors received preliminary, general information on a new pipeline being proposed to carry oil from North Dakota through Iowa, including Van Buren County, then crossing into Illinois. The proposed Bakken Pipeline wou

    July 30, 2014

  • Fairfield stabbing suspects' trials separated FAIRFIELD — The three people accused of dragging a man into a Fairfield apartment before robbing and stabbing him have had a judge grant their requests to separate their trials. Dawn Dunn, Dustin Roll and Brett Hedblade are each charged with willful

    July 30, 2014

  • Local business donates grain rescue tube KEOSAUQUA — Stockport Elevator, owned by Roquette America, donated a grain rescue tube to Birmingham and Stockport Fire Departments. A training session was conducted Monday, led by Dale Ekdahl, a representative of Outstate Data, LLC, the device’s man

    July 30, 2014

  • Where do my taxes go? OTTUMWA — Wapello County Board certified its tax levy. But what does that mean? Based on budgets submitted by various levying authors, the Wapello County Auditor prepares and certifies the levy rates for the county. Budgets for each levy are based on

    July 30, 2014

  • OCSD releases elementary supplies list

    OTTUMWA — For years, parents of the students in Ottumwa's elementary schools have had to check to make sure the school supplies list they grabbed was the right one for their school. No more.

    July 30, 2014

  • Reducing runoff at the local level AGENCY — Pollution isn’t the first thing that comes to mind when you look out at a field of Iowa corn or soybeans, but there’s growing concern about what manages to get out of the fields and into the water. The same nutrients that benefit the crops c

    July 30, 2014

  • Supervisors wrestle with staffing woes KEOSAUQUA — Van Buren County Supervisor Chairman Bob Waugh says he wants county supervisors to help alleviate staffing problems within the county treasurer’s office. In May, supervisors opted not to replace a vacancy within the treasurer’s office. Va

    July 30, 2014

  • 0730 OTT Better Buildings -T -M Wildwood could be your home OTTUMWA — There was always one child per class who just adored school. If they went to Wildwood, they may soon be able to move in permanently. The Ottumwa board of education met Monday, where staff told them where the district stood as far as "facili

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • A changing roster -- for school board OTTUMWA — If the last time you saw your board of education was before Christmastime, the current school board might surprise you. Two members retired from the board: longtime educator Ron Oswalt stepped down, as did board president Carol Mitchell. Bo

    July 29, 2014

Photo reprints


Obituaries

Facebook