BECKER TRIAL: Opening Statements and Testimony - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

BECKER TRIAL: Opening Statements and Testimony

ALLISON (KWWL) -- Opening statements were delivered Friday morning at the Butler County Courthouse and testimony began in the murder trial of Mark Becker.

Becker is accused of killing Aplington-Parkersburg teacher and coach Ed Thomas in the school's temporary weight room last year.

Becker arrived at the Butler County Courthouse Tuesday morning wearing a bullet proof vest.

The judge gave instructions to the jurors, explaining the state must proved guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, and that they would be expected to take detailed notes to help remember the facts presented.

The prosecution explained a timeline of events in their opening statements saying Becker broke into his parents' gun cabinet and practiced shooting a 22-caliber gun at a bird house.

The prosecution says Becker then went to the school and asked the junior high assistant principal where Coach Thomas was so they could talk about the Tornado Relief Fund. According to the prosecution, Becker went into the weight room, shot Thomas multiple times, then began kicking Thomas and swearing at him.

The prosecution says even if Becker suffered from a mental illness, it does not mean he was insane at the time of the crime.

The defense argued during their opening statement that Becker suffered from mental illness that kept him from distinguishing right from wrong. The defense says Becker had delusions the night before the murder and believed Thomas was Satan and was turning people into fish.


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