Oskaloosa Man Charged with 2nd Degree Murder After Fatal Stabbing

(OSKALOOSA, Iowa) – The stabbing death of William Penn University student Marquis Todd has been ruled a homicide, officials said during a press conference held on Wednesday, March 14.

Official autopsy results concluded Todd’s cause of death to be a stab wound to the chest. As a result of this ongoing investigation, Luke VanHemert, 23, of Oskaloosa, has been taken into custody “without incident,” according to Iowa DCI investigator Mike Motsinger, and charged with one count of Murder in the Second Degree. VanHemert is currently being held in the Mahaska County Jail with a cash only bond set at $500,000.

This ongoing investigation is being worked by the Oskaloosa Police Department, the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation, Mahaska County Sheriff’s Office, and the Marion County Sheriff’s Office.

No further information has been released at this time.

-Photo provided by the Iowa DCI. To view a full video of the press conference held at 1:00 PM on March 14, click here. To view the full news release sent from the Iowa DCI, continue reading below.

DES MOINES, Iowa — On March 14, 2018, members of the Oskaloosa Police Department arrested Luke VanHemert, 23, of 603 North 3rd Street, in Oskaloosa, Iowa. VanHemert was charged with one count of Murder in the Second Degree. VanHemert is currently being held in the Mahaska County Jail. VanHemert was taken into custody without incident at his place of employment in Pella, Iowa. VanHemert is being held on $500,000 cash only.

The Office of the Iowa State Medical Examiner has ruled the cause of death as a stab wound of the chest and the manner of death a homicide.

This is an ongoing investigation being worked jointly by the Oskaloosa Police Department, Mahaska County Sheriff’s Office, Marion County Sheriff’s Office, and the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation.

Previous Press Release from March 2, 2018:

At approximately 10:50 p.m., March 1, 2018, the Mahaska County Law Enforcement Center received a 911 call in reference to a fight that was occurring at 603 North 3rd Street in Oskaloosa. Upon arriving to the area, Oskaloosa Police Officers found a male needing medical attention at 315 A Avenue East at the Jiffy Mart gas station. The male, later identified as Marquis Todd, 22, of Woodridge, Illinois, was transported to the local hospital. Todd was treated for a stab wound and later died from the injury. Todd was attending college at William Penn University in Oskaloosa.

Todd has been transported to the Office of the State Medical Examiner located in Ankeny, Iowa. The autopsy has been scheduled for March 3, 2018.

Note: A criminal charge is merely an accusation and a defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty.


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