TOLEDO (AP) — A man convicted of killing a woman whose body has never been found has been given 50 years in an Iowa prison.
Court records say 51-year-old Tait Purk was sentenced Thursday. In December a judge found him guilty of second-degree murder for killing Cora Okonski nearly 18 years ago.
In May a jury convicted Purk of murder, but a judge found the verdict wasn't backed by evidence.
Okonski disappeared in April 16, 2000, while she was living with Purk in Tama. Purk had told authorities she had left to buy cigarettes and never returned.
A former fellow inmate of Purk's testified that Purk told him he had killed his fiancee during an argument, kept her body in a bathroom closet overnight and then buried her.
State punishes egg facility for wastewater runoff into creek
EAGLE GROVE (AP) — Iowa authorities have punished a north-central Iowa egg facility for allowing wastewater to reach a creek.
The Mason City Globe Gazette reports that the Department of Natural Resources said Daybreak Foods Inc. must pay an administrative penalty of $5,500.
The department says a heavy rain in August washed a recent field application of wastewater into the creek near the facility in rural Eagle Grove. The company has a permit to spread the wastewater but can't let it run into surface waters.
Illinois police announce Super Bowl weekend DUI enforcement
CHICAGO (AP) — The Illinois State Police is warning people that if they drink too much at Super Bowl parties this weekend they may end up having a not-so-super time on the way home.
The agency says that troopers will be out on roving patrols and conducting safety checks throughout the Super Bowl weekend. The troopers will put an emphasis on looking for drivers who are under the influence of alcohol. Last year, state troopers in Illinois made 195 alcohol-related arrests and responded to the scenes of alcohol-related crashes, including two in which people were killed.
State troopers during last year's Super Bowl weekend issued more than 1,700 citations for drunken driving, speeding, distracted driving and seat belt compliance.
New trial site sought in slaying of southeast Iowa teen
KEOKUK (AP) — A defense attorney wants to move the trial of a second man accused of fatally shooting a gender-fluid teenager in southeast Iowa.
The Hawk Eye reports that Jason Purham's attorney, Allen Cook III, filed the motion Thursday in Des Moines County District Court. Cook cited in part the extensive media coverage of the case. He didn't say where he wants the trial held.
The judge set a Monday hearing on the request. The trial is scheduled to begin Feb. 20.
Purham, who is from St. Louis, is the second of two men charged with first-degree murder for the slaying of 16-year-old Kedarie Johnson, whose body was dumped in a Burlington alley on March 2, 2016. Purham's cousin Jorge "Lumni" Sanders-Galvez was convicted in November and sentenced to life in prison.
Former softball coach gets 10 years for sex abuse of teen
COUNCIL BLUFFS (AP) — A former softball coach has been given 10 years in prison for sexually abusing a 14-year-old girl in Council Bluffs.
Court records say John Osborn was sentenced Thursday. He was convicted Dec. 22 of four counts of sexual abuse.
It was Osborn's second trial on the charges. He'd been convicted in spring 2015, but a judge ordered a new trial when new evidence surfaced before Osborn could be sentenced. The second trial was delayed by legal wrangling. His attorney says Osborn intends to appeal.
Council Bluffs police say Osborn and the girl engaged in sex acts when the girl stayed at Osborn's house in July 2014 for a sleepover with his daughter.
2 take plea deals in slaying of 15-year-old Davenport girl
DAVENPORT (AP) — Two people have been sentenced for killing a teenage girl during a backyard shooting in Davenport.
Trevor Owens, 19, was given 20 years on Thursday at his sentencing in Scott County District Court. He'd pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter and other crimes. He was 17 at the time of the shooting in June 2016.
His 15-year-old co-defendant was sent to the Iowa State Training School for Boys in Eldora until he turns 18. He'd pleaded guilty to attempted murder. The Associated Press generally doesn't name juveniles accused of crimes.
Authorities say 15-year-old Ayana Culbreath was killed when the two males began shooting during the backyard gathering.