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Murder suspect's trial delayed

April 14, 2012
By DAVID ALEXANDER - Staff Writer ( , Times-Republican

The court has pushed back the trial of one of the suspects charged with shooting a Marshalltown man to death in February.

Court records indicate Steven Etzen, 27, as the gunman in Benjamin Benda's murder as he is the only one of the trio is charged with killing another person willfully, deliberately and with premeditation.

Etzen's co-defendants, Shawn Doehler, 23, and Thomas Vaughn, 28, both initially pleaded not guilty along with Etzen.

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Vaughn later pleaded guilty March 28, according court documents.

The trio allegedly entered an apartment on North Center Street with the intent of robbing Benda Feb. 6 before shooting him in the head. Benda died from the wound in an Iowa City hospital the next day.

Jennifer Miller, Marshall County attorney, said it is typical for a crime of this nature not to be tried within 90 because of the volume of discovery that needs to be done. Miller said she could not comment on Doehler and Vaughn's cases.

The court will hold a conference to reschedule the trial and determine deadlines for discoveries and motions April 16.

Judge James Ellefson will sentence Doehler and Vaughn Sept. 10. Nothing in the court record indicates Doehler pleaded guilty, just that Ellefson ordered a plea acceptance.



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