Day two of Elson kidnapping trial underway - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Day two of Elson kidnapping trial underway


The first degree kidnapping trial of Keith Van Elson Jr., 56, is in it's second day.

Elson is accused of kidnapping Amanda Daniel at knife point from the Kwik Shop store on First Avenue in May of 2010.

Assistant Linn County Attorney Jason burns told Judge Ian Thornhill on Monday that Elson then took Daniel to his apartment where he forced her to have sex with him.  Burns told the judge that during more than four hour ordeal in Elson's apartment, Daniel was beaten when she tried to get away.

Burns added that Daniel was finally able to barricade herself in the bathroom after hitting Elson with a fan.  Police found her in that bathroom shortly after 11:00 a.m. that morning.

Police say Elson had two stab wounds to his chest.

Elson is charged with First Degree Kidnapping and could face life in prison.

Elson waived his right to a jury trial on Friday, meaning the judge will make the final ruling in the case.  Thornhill would not say how long it would take him to reach his verdict after the trial is over. 

Four witnesses took the stand for the prosecution on Monday including the delivery driver who first noticed that no one was working in the store, the store manager and two Cedar Rapids police officers.

Twelve witnesses are scheduled to testify on Tuesday, including Daniel.

KWWL's Jason Epner is in the courtroom and will have updates tonight on the KWWL News at 5 and 6.

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