VanHemert mugshot

OSKALOOSA — The Mahaska County man accused of killing a William Penn student will go to trial

Luke Van Hemert's attorney had claimed the state’s “stand your ground” law meant he was immune to prosecution, while prosecutors argued the law applied to immunity only as far as civil damages go.

Van Hemert is accused of second degree murder in the death of William Penn University student Marquis Todd in March of 2018.

The district court sided with the prosecution, concluding the law did not protect Van Hemert against prosecution, nor did it entitle him to a pretrial evidentiary hearing. Van Hemert’s trial is scheduled to begin at 9 a.m. April 9.

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