MASON CITY | The Mason City man accused of fatally shooting a 19-year-old woman will head to trial Monday, facing a second-degree murder charge.
Larry Whaley, 61, allegedly shot Samantha Teeter in the head through his apartment door at 116 17th St. S.E. on Dec. 2, 2016. Teeter died two days later in the hospital.
Last month, Judge Christopher C. Foy determined Whaley was competent to stand trial for first-degree murder, after Cerro Gordo County Attorney Carlyle Dalen submitted two medical reports by neuropsychologist John Bayless and psychiatrist Arnold Andersen, both based in Iowa City.
Since that competency hearing, Whaley's charge dropped from first to second-degree murder, according to court documents. Dalen declined to comment on the decision last month, citing the pending trial.
Whaley has continuously written letters to Judge Foy complaining that evidence has been tampered in his case, and that he will not be able to receive a fair trial in Cerro Gordo County because he is black.
If convicted, he faces up to 50 years in prison, including a mandatory minimum of 35 years, according to state law.
Whaley's trial is scheduled to begin Monday at 9 a.m. in the Cerro Gordo County Courthouse.