By Bob Steenson, firstname.lastname@example.org
Here are recent developments in court cases involving Floyd County residents:
• The first-degree murder trial of Charles City resident Randy Louis Linderman, 53, in Jasper County District Court, has again been postponed, this time until Nov. 5. The trial had been set to begin this week.
Linderman is accused of killing Jose Ramirez Berber in rural Jasper County near Newton, on March 6, 2017. An autopsy of Berber, 61, determined the cause of death was blunt force trauma. Authorities said Linderman’s DNA was found on Berber’s body.
Linderman pleaded not guilty to the charge and has filed documents saying he may present an alibi defense, submitting evidence he was applying for a job in Sheffield at the time of the alleged murder.
• The Floyd County District Court jury trial of Robert Ray Mannetter of Charles City started Tuesday. Mannetter is charged with third-degree sexual abuse, a Class C felony, for allegedly performing a sex act on a 33-year-old female by force or against her will on July 3, 2017.
Mannetter, age 29, is also charged in a separate case with domestic abuse assault, choking, for allegedly punching and placing his hand around the throat of a woman in June 2017, a Class D felony; and child endangerment, for allegedly acting in a manner that created a substantial risk to one or more children, also in June 2017, an aggravated misdemeanor.
The trial on those charges has been postponed until Aug. 7.
Mannetter is listed on the Iowa Sex Offender Registry for conviction in 2005 as a 15-year-old of assault with intent to commit sexual abuse of a female victim under the age of 13, and of a female victim age 14-17.
• Douglas Lindaman, 62, of Charles City, convicted in April of assault to commit sexual abuse, an aggravated misdemeanor, has filed an appeal with the Iowa Supreme Court through his attorney with the State Appellate Defender’s Office.
Lindaman was convicted of the lesser charge after being tried for third-degree sexual abuse, a Class C felony, after his original 2016 conviction for third-degree sexual abuse was overturned by the Iowa Supreme Court in 2017.
Lindaman’s trial on a charge of tampering with a witness, also an aggravated misdemeanor, has been moved to Waverly in Bremer County.
District Court Judge Peter Newell ordered the change of venue last Thursday, and also last week denied a motion by Lindaman to dismiss the case, and also denied motions for a written jury questionnaire and for the questionnaire to be mailed to prospective jurors. The judge did allow a motion for a video on unconscious biases to be played to the jury.
• A plea hearing set for this week for Jamison Tyler Zirbel, age 20, has been postponed until Aug. 6. Zirbel was charged with possession with intent to deliver marijuana, a Class D felony, and failure to affix a drug stamp, also a Class D felony.
Zirbel entered a written plea of guilty to a reduced charge of possession of marijuana, second offense, an aggravated misdemeanor. As part of the plea agreement the county attorney’s office will recommend that Zirbel be sentenced to 30 days in jail, to be served at the same time as his sentence on a separate charge of a controlled substance violation for which he pleaded guilty and was sentenced in June 2017.