The Ottumwa Courier

October 16, 2012

Cinema X murder trial delayed

MARK NEWMAN
Courier Staff Writer

OTTUMWA — A man accused of robbing and killing a downtown store manager has had his trial date postponed.

Bruce Darnell Pollard, 25, of Ottumwa, was charged in May with first-degree murder as well as first-degree robbery in connection to the death of Kenneth McDaniel.

McDaniel, 70, spent 40 years as the manager of Cinema X, an adult theater business in downtown Ottumwa.

“He was more than a manager,” said the theater’s owner, Debbie Wieseler of Bellevue. “He was family.”

The trial has been set for 9:30 a.m. April 16, 2013. The judge’s order for continuance came down Monday. That was the day attorneys scheduled back in July to meet for a pretrial conference. Also in July, the court had set trial for this November.

At issue may be the scheduling of some of Pollard’s other trials. He’s been accused of a string of crimes in and around downtown Ottumwa. He has trials scheduled for burglary and for three counts of armed robbery.

In March, Pollard was arrested for robbery, accused of sticking up a server outside the Sonic restaurant. Later, police went to the jail to charge him with two armed robberies at a BP gas station. A week later, Pollard made news again when he jumped from the second-tier catwalk in front of his cell at the Wapello County Jail. After treatment at a local hospital, he was returned to jail.

While all those alleged crimes happened in March, police waited to make an arrest in the murder until they had full autopsy results. Pollard was arrested in May for the murder charge, though he was still in the Wapello County Jail on the other felony charges.

Ottumwa Police say they have a crowbar they believe is the murder weapon — and a confession that Pollard struck McDaniel with the object.

Pollard remains in custody on $1.3 million cash-only bond related to the homicide. The next pretrial conference on the murder case is now scheduled for 9 a.m. March 11, 2013.