Monday Afternoon News, May 4
Public Defender Says Neunaber Suffers From Mental Disorders
LE MARS, Iowa (AP) - An attorney for a man charged with first-degree murder in the killing of his mother says his client suffers from mental disorders preventing him from understanding the case against him.
Public defendant Billy Oyadare is seeking a hearing to determine if Jonathan Neunaber is competent to stand trial in the death of his mother, 80-year-old Esther Neunaber. Her body was found last July with the body of her husband Donald Neunaber. She was beaten to death. He died of natural causes.
Oyadare says a psychologist has stated 45-year-old Jonathan Neunaber suffers from mental disorders preventing him from appreciating the charges, understanding the proceedings or assisting in his defense.
Neunaber was arrested in July. He's pleaded not guilty.
A trial hasn't been scheduled.
Council Bluffs Woman Reports Stabbing Estranged Husband After Break-in
COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa (AP) - A 39-year-old man is recovering from stab wounds that police say he received when he broke into a Council Bluffs home and attacked his estranged wife.
Council Bluffs police say the man was taken to an Omaha, Nebraska, hospital for treatment after a traffic stop. Officers had responded to a call around 5:45 p.m. Sunday by a woman reporting threats against her and another woman.
The officers say the man had left by the time they arrived at the home. The women reported that he'd broken in and tried to choke one of them, but she grabbed a kitchen knife and stabbed him. Officers say her injuries were minor and that the other woman wasn't hurt.
Police say charges are likely against the man, but he's not yet been arrested.
National Parks Service Official Claims To Be "Scapegoat"
IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - A former National Park Service official contends she was unfairly fired over illegal construction projects that damaged one of the nation's most sacred American Indian burial sites.
In an age discrimination lawsuit filed last week, former Effigy Mounds National Monument superintendent Phyllis Ewing says the park service made her a "scapegoat" to appease interest groups and protect others' reputations.
An investigation found that Ewing and a subordinate repeatedly ignored laws that required archaeological studies and input from tribes before building boardwalks, trails and a maintenance shed. The projects removed stone artifacts and impacted scenic views at the site in northeast Iowa, which contains mounds affiliated with 12 tribes.
Ewing claims she had no training on how to conduct the required reviews, and the problem "was epidemic in the agency."