Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Dakota City, IA: Trial Begins In Killing Of Estranged Wife, Friend

DAKOTA CITY, Iowa (AP) ― Several witnesses saw a 29-year-old West Des Moines man fatally shoot his estranged wife and a friend on the side of a highway, prosecutors told jurors Monday during opening statements in Humbolt County.

Kyle Deemer has pleaded not guilty to two counts of first-degree murder. The trial was moved from Marshall County on a request by his attorneys.

Jessica Deemer, 24, and Bryce Mercer, 24, were found shot to death near Marshalltown after authorities said they received a 911 call on Oct. 17, 2008. Assistant Iowa Attorney General Becky Goettsch said she would play a recording of the 911 call in court.

Goettsch told the jury that Kyle Deemer fought with his wife in July 2008 when she moved out of their house with their young son, Ty. She said several people heard Deemer say he would kill her if she dated someone else.

On the day of the shooting, Deemer waited outside the building where his wife and Mercer worked, and saw them get into a car together, Goettsch said.

Goettsch said Deemer followed the two in his truck for more than an hour before pushing the car off the road and into a ditch. Witnesses then saw Deemer shoot both of the victims with a 20-gauge shotgun, the prosecutor said.

Defense attorney Aaron Hawbaker did not preview any evidence during his much shorter opening statement. He instead asked the jury to remember they must consider evidence given on the witness stand, not statements by attorneys.

Witness testimony was scheduled to begin Tuesday.

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