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Vanhemert Found Guilty Of 2nd Degree Murder

Luke Vanhemert is lead from the Mahaska County Courthouse to the Mahaska County Jail on Monday afternoon after being found guilty of 2nd Degree Murder.

Oskaloosa, Iowa – Family and friends of Marquis Todd and Luke Vanhemert waited for word from the jury after closing arguments finished up Monday morning. The jury was given their instructions just before noon and moved to the deliberation room. After a week-long trial that was sometimes filled with emotional testimony, a jury of nine […]

Wright Talks About First Year, Elementary Changes

Paula Wright - Oskaloosa Schools Superintendent

Oskaloosa, Iowa – Despite being in her first year as Superintendent, Paula Wright is making it clear that she is not afraid of change. Wright was hired in April 2018, after then-Superintendent Russ Reiter accepted a Superintendent position in Independence, Iowa. Coming from the Chariton School District, where she had previously served as Superintendent, Wright […]

Vanhemert Takes Stand In Final Day Of Testimony

Luke Vanhemert took the stand Friday morning to tell his side of the story of what happened on March 1, 2018. Vanhemert is charged with one count of second-degree murder in the stabbing death of Marquis Todd

Oskaloosa, Iowa – Luke Vanhemert took the stand Friday morning to tell his side of the story of what happened on March 1, 2018. Vanhemert is charged with one count of second-degree murder in the stabbing death of Marquis Todd, a William Penn University student. If convicted, Vanhemert faces a 50-year prison sentence. He has […]

DCI Investigator, Medical Examiner Close Out State’s Case In Vanhemert Trial

Elijah Marcus is seen answering questions for Mahaska County Attorney Andrew Ritland during court on Thursday afternoon.

Oskaloosa, Iowa – The DCI special agent in charge who interviewed Luke Vanhemert in the early morning hours of March 2, 2018, just hours after the death of Marquis Todd testified Thursday morning. Agent Don Schnitker headlined testimony for the State as they quickly wrapped up their side of the case. Schnitker briefly testified that […]

School Board Approves 2019-2020 Budget

Oskaloosa Community School Board

OSKALOOSA- The Oskaloosa School Board has approved the upcoming fiscal year’s budget, opting to maintain a level of consistency. The board, on April 9, held a public hearing in regards to the proposed budget, receiving no positive or negative feedback from the public regarding the proposed budget. Superintendent Paula Wright noted that the tax levy […]

Friends Of Marquis Todd Testify To What Happened

Mikeal Donaldson was the first person to take the stand on Wednesday morning in the 2nd Degree Murder trial of Luke Vanhemert.

Law Enforcement also recount early parts of investigation. Oskaloosa, Iowa – Two friends of Marquis Todd testified on Wednesday that they only had one thing in mind when they stopped by the residence of Luke Vanhemert on March 1, 2018: to see if he and his friends would pay for damages done to his car […]

Vanhemert Murder Trial Gets Underway

Luke Vanhemert (left) is introduced to the jury by his attorney Allen Cook, during opening remarks on Tuesday afternoon.

Oskaloosa, Iowa – Two differing details of events on the evening of March 1, 2018, were shared with a jury panel of 10 women and four men Tuesday afternoon, as the trial of Luke Vanhemert began in Mahaska County District Court. Vanhemert is charged with second-degree murder in the stabbing death of William Penn University […]

Sanders Promises To Take On The Powerful

Sen. Bernie Sanders made a campaign stop in Oskaloosa on Sunday. He visited the Musco Technology Center on the campus of William Penn University. There was approximately 250 people in attendance.

Oskaloosa, Iowa – The presidential nominating season has fully kicked into swing, as US Senator Bernie Sanders (D-VT) became the first major declared presidential candidate to swing through Oskaloosa. Sanders spoke to a standing room only crowd of roughly 250 people at the Musco Technology Center on the William Penn University Campus. Starting off his […]

Ritenour will face trial in Lee County

Alicia Ritenour

Oskaloosa- Approximately one week after hearing arguments on whether or not to move trial, Judge Myron Gookin has decided that an Oskaloosa mother facing murder charges cannot receive a fair retrial in Mahaska County. Gookin ruled that Alicia Ritenour’s request for a change of venue should be granted, in large part because of pre-trial publicity. […]

Vanhemert Denied Immunity, Trial Date Confirmed

Oskaloosa, Iowa – Luke Vanhemert will stand trial as charged, after a Judge ruled Tuesday morning, March 26, that he has no immunity from prosecution. After a hearing before Judge Lucy Gamon, Vanhemert’s claim that he is immune from prosecution of second-degree murder, under Iowa’s Stand Your Ground Law, was denied. On March 14, Vanhemert’s […]


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