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OTTUMWA — A new trial information lists additional charges in the case of an Ottumwa man accused of murder.

Authorities say Preston Martin, 37, shot and killed Thomas Foster in May. Court filings said blood on Martin’s clothing and a container with money believed to have come from Foster’s home tied him to the killing.

The charge of first degree murder is now joined by charges of first degree burglary and first degree robbery. Both of those charges at Class B felonies, which carry a potential sentence of 25 years in prison.

First degree murder is a Class A felony in Iowa, with a mandatory life sentence. Martin’s arraignment is scheduled for July 15.

Another local murder case will not go to trial as had been expected. Kelsie Thomas is accused of killing her daughter, Cloe, in July 2018. Thomas’ trial was scheduled to begin Sept. 10, but was continued.

No new date has been set for the trial.

In other area cases:

Multiple theft charges were dismissed as part of a plea agreement reached in cases against Cody Ehrenhard. The agreement included a guilty plea to third-degree burglary. Ehrenhard received a five-year suspended prison sentence.

The Fairfield man whom authorities say was found naked in an alley with a 13-year-old girl will be separated from her during her deposition. The court’s order allows Timothy Chavez to be present behind a screen or otherwise out of view, or to watch the deposition via closed-circuit video.

Michael Christensen received a 10-year suspended prison sentence after pleading guilty to first degree criminal mischief, a Class C felony. He was also fined $1,000.


Managing Editor

Matt Milner currently serves as the Courier's Managing Editor. Milner is a trained weather spotter and is usually outside if there are storms. He joined the Courier in 2002.

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