Tama woman charged with murder of daughter-in-law - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Tama woman charged with murder of daughter-in-law

Posted: Updated:
TAMA (KWWL) -

A woman in Tama stands accused of murdering her daughter-in-law.

Ginger Jefferson, 57, of Toledo is charged with first-degree murder in the death of 32-year-old Kerry O’Clair-Jefferson.

O’Clair-Jefferson’s body was found at her home in Tama Wednesday afternoon.

She was discovered by a Tama police officer, who was there on an unrelated call.

When Jefferson was first brought before a judge Friday, her expression was blank. Media and family members packed the small county courtroom because the stakes are high – Jefferson could face life in prison without parole if convicted.

In the criminal complaint filed Friday, Chief Jeff Filloon wrote that he believed the killing was "willful, deliberate and premeditated."

Previously, the State Medical Examiner identified the cause of death as "sharp force injuries to the neck."

Jefferson was initially brought into custody as a material witness, but authorities announced the break in the case Friday morning.

“An arrest warrant was obtained last night for Ginger Jefferson and was executed this morning around 10 a.m.,” said Bill Kietzman of the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigations. “She has now been charged with murder in the first degree for the death of her daughter-in-law, Kerry (O’Clair-)Jefferson."

Just a few hours after Kietzman made the announcement, Jefferson was in front of a judge.

Her time in court was brief. She acknowledged the charges against her with a quiet, “Yes sir,” and then her bond was set at $1 million – only payable in cash.

Outside the courthouse, family members reacted to a whirlwind day. Jefferson’s other daughter-in-law said both sides of the family plan to stick together.

"Every family has little tiffs here and there, but we're family,” said Laurie Davenport. “We all love each other, and we'll all make it."

As for a motive in this murder, police said they can’t discuss it at this point. Family members are at a loss as well.

"We don't know,” Davenport said. ”We're still numb, we're all pretty numb."

But whatever the reason, one woman is dead, and a small town is left wondering why.

  • NEWSNEWSMore>>

  • Renters may have changes coming their way

    Renters may have changes coming their way

    Monday, July 28 2014 6:12 AM EDT2014-07-28 10:12:51 GMT
    The idea of living in a four-bedroom apartment with three unrelated roommates, may be coming to a stop in Cedar Falls. Task Force Member, Fred Abraham, has proposed the idea of reducing the maximum number of unrelated renters in a single-family home from four to three. He also think that any single family homes that are converted into rentals should either rent only to families or to no more than two unrelated people. His ideas behind these proposals is to reduce density and "preserve the cha...More >>
    The idea of living in a four-bedroom apartment with three unrelated roommates, may be coming to a stop in Cedar Falls. Task Force Member, Fred Abraham, has proposed the idea of reducing the maximum number of unrelated renters in a single-family home from four to three. He also think that any single family homes that are converted into rentals should either rent only to families or to no more than two unrelated people. His ideas behind these proposals is to reduce density and "preserve the cha...More >>
  • Goodwill closes one store, builds another

    Goodwill closes one store, builds another

    Monday, July 28 2014 4:27 AM EDT2014-07-28 08:27:14 GMT
    Goodwill Industries of Northeast Iowa plans to close its store in the Crossroads Center area, and build a new one.For the last 5-6 years Goodwill has been working towards getting away from leased facilities and towards owning their own facilities. The current store in one of the older units in the area, and is very dated, according to a Goodwill employee. There is also current concerns with security issues and safety problems. The store will be less square footage, but according to Chris Hars...More >>
    Goodwill Industries of Northeast Iowa plans to close its store in the Crossroads Center area, and build a new one.For the last 5-6 years Goodwill has been working towards getting away from leased facilities and towards owning their own facilities. The current store in one of the older units in the area, and is very dated, according to a Goodwill employee. There is also current concerns with security issues and safety problems. The store will be less square footage, but according to Chris Hars...More >>
  • Dubuque ranks in Top 10

    Dubuque ranks in Top 10

    Monday, July 28 2014 3:16 AM EDT2014-07-28 07:16:38 GMT
    Two Iowa cities are ranked in the Top 10 in Forbes. Dubuque ranks as #8 in the United States for Best Small places for Business and Careers Ranking. Des Moines also ranked in the Top 10 in the large city category.More >>
    Two Iowa cities are ranked in the Top 10 in Forbes. Dubuque ranks as #8 in the United States for Best Small places for Business and Careers Ranking. Des Moines also ranked in the Top 10 in the large city category.
    More >>
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and KWWL. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service and Mobile Privacy Policy & Terms of Service.

Persons with disabilities who need assistance with issues relating to the content of this station's public inspection file should contact Administrative Assistant Sandy Youngblut at 319-291-1259. Questions or concerns relating to the accessibility of the FCC's online public file system should be directed to the FCC at 888-225-5322, at 888-835-5322 (TTY) or at fccinfo@fcc.gov.