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Trial delayed again for man accused of killing sister

LE MARS, Iowa (AP) - A trial has been delayed again for a northwest Iowa man accused of stabbing to death his sister.

The trial had been set to begin Jan. 30 for 35-year-old Thomas Bibler. He's pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder, willful injury and going armed with intent in connection with the June 11, 2016, stabbing death of 27-year-old Shannon Bogh, of Le Mars. He was arrested that day after a short standoff at his Le Mars apartment.

On Tuesday a judge granted a defense request to remove an expert witness and seek another. The judge also said a new trial date would be set after a Jan. 26 status conference. Previous trial starting dates for Bibler were Dec. 19, May 16, Feb. 14 and Dec. 13, 2016.


Burglary charges dropped against Nebraska bounty hunter

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) - A judge has dismissed a burglary charge filed against a bounty hunter who broke into an occupied Omaha residence and searched it until realizing he was in the wrong house.

The Douglas County District judge ruled that 25-year-old Duane Wilson's actions weren't out of line with court rulings that govern actions of bounty hunters.

Douglas County Attorney Don Kleine tells the Omaha World-Herald that he plans to appeal the ruling.

Wilson worked for Gallagher Bail Bonds in Council Bluffs, Iowa. Police documents show Gallagher was looking for a 17-year-old who didn't show up to court after being bailed out of jail. Wilson broke into a family's home Jan. 30 intending to catch the teen.

The family alleges Wilson searched the house with a gun drawn. Wilson denies the claims.



Nebraska judge tosses out evidence against Iowa defendants

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) - A judge has tossed out drugs found in a vehicle as evidence in a pending trial because the Lincoln police officer who pulled over the vehicle on Interstate 80 didn't have probable cause for the traffic stop.

Court records say 42-year-old Andrea Plummer and 35-year-old Phillip Plummer, both of Sioux City, Iowa, are charged with possession for sale and related crimes.

Phillip Plummer was driving on Sept. 16, 2016, when his vehicle was stopped for what the officer said was following too closely. A subsequent vehicle search turned up more than 3 pounds (1.4 kilograms) of marijuana, 2 ounces (27 grams) of cocaine and nearly $16,000 in cash.

The judge agreed with the defense that the officer's car video showed the Plummers' SUV had been boxed in by traffic.


Onawa firefighters find man's body in house

ONAWA, Iowa (AP) - Authorities say firefighters have found the body of a man inside a smoke-filled home in western Iowa.

The Onawa Police Department says in a news release that fire crews were dispatched around 7:40 a.m. Tuesday to the blazing home, which was full of smoke. The department says firefighters found the body of 37-year-old Garrett Brown, who lived there alone.

State authorities have joined the fire investigation.


Authorities ID pilot who died in southern Iowa crash

OSKALOOSA, Iowa (AP) - Authorities have released the name of a pilot whose body was found in the wreckage of his small plane in south-central Iowa.

The Mahaska County Sheriff's Office identified him as 70-year-old Bruce Devick, who lived in Marshalltown.

Authorities say the single-engine aircraft crashed Saturday afternoon after striking a power line about 3 miles (5 kilometers) north of Oskaloosa. First responders found the wrecked plane upside down in a farm field.

Devick had been flying alone. It remains unclear why he was flying low enough to strike the line.

Federal authorities have joined the crash investigation.


Police: 4 Iowa family members killed in Christmas Day fire

BLUE GRASS, Iowa (AP) - Police say all four people killed by an early Christmas morning house fire in eastern Iowa belonged to one family.

The blaze erupted a little after 12:30 a.m. Monday in Blue Grass. Police say one of the four people inside the home managed to escape but died later at a hospital. The three others perished inside the ranch-style house.

Blue Grass police Sgt. Garrett Jahns said Tuesday that he couldn't release any of the victims' names or ages yet but that the four were related.

State Fire Marshal Division spokesman Ron Humphrey says the cause of the fire remains under investigation.

Blue Grass is a community of about 1,500 residents 150 miles (240 kilometers) east of Des Moines.

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