One man received a life sentence for murder, another got a life sentence for kidnapping and a teen was put behind bars for up to 50 years for killing his mother during North Iowa court cases in 2016. 

Ronald Rand, 62, Hampton, was sentenced to life in prison in October for first-degree murder. 

In August a jury decided he was guilty of shooting and killing his girlfriend, Michelle Key, 51, of Waterloo, at his home on Dec. 13, 2015.

Prosecutors argued during the trial that Rand was angry at Key and killed her intentionally.

An officer testified that Rand told him, “I’m a murderer."

During his sentencing hearing Rand called the shooting "a tragic accident" caused by two people who were "drunk and playing with a gun."

Rand has filed an appeal.

Earlier this month Nicholas Lenz, 23, Mitchell, was sentenced to life in prison for first-degree kidnapping. 

A jury found him guilty in October of confining a woman he was romantically involved with and beating her over the course of two days in March. 

When the jury verdict was read in court, Lenz yelled and swore at the victim, who also was present, and at law enforcement officers before they cuffed him and led him out of the courtroom. 

Lenz has filed an appeal. 

An Osage teen convicted in the 2012 second-degree murder of his mother was sentenced in May to up to 50 years in prison.

Noah Crooks, who turned 18 in July, was 13 when he shot his mother, Gretchen, in their rural Mitchell County home in March 2012.

After his 2013 conviction, Crooks was placed at the State Training School in Eldora because he received a youthful offender deferred sentence in 2013 from a jury.

Under Iowa law, those who receive this deferred sentence are to have a hearing in district court before their 18th birthday so a judge can rule on their fate as an adult.

District Judge James Drew could have put Crooks on probation but chose not to do so.

Crooks has filed an appeal. 

In October an Osage man accused of sexually abusing a young man and then attempting to kill him to keep him from testifying was sentenced to up to 35 years in prison.

Mark Retterath, 52, was found guilty by a jury in August of felony attempted murder, solicitation to commit murder and third-degree sexual abuse.

Investigators said Retterath decided to kill the victim, who was first abused as a teenager, with the poison ricin when the now-young man went to authorities with his allegations of sexual abuse.

Prosecutors say Retterath got the idea for the murder method from a friend, who'd seen a television character make ricin from castor beans and kill someone on AMC's hit TV show "Breaking Bad."

Retterath has filed an appeal.

A candidate in last year's Charles City School Board election was sentenced in June to up to 10 years in prison for third-degree sexual abuse.

Doug Lindaman, 60, was accused shortly before the September 2015 election of inappropriately touching a teenage boy in 2011. He lost the School Board race.

In April a jury rejected the former lawyer and magistrate's claim that handling the boy’s penis represented a therapeutic act meant to “unblock” an alleged unpleasant sexual memory.

Lindaman has filed an appeal. 

In September a jury awarded $900,000 in damages to the family of a now-deceased resident of a Mason City nursing home.

The jury determined Good Shepherd was negligent in its care of Maria Salvas O'Brien and showed willful and wanton disregard for rights and safety of another. 

Savas O’Brien was at Good Shepherd for 2½ years. She was taken from the nursing home to the hospital in late March 2015 and died in early April 2015 at age 84 while in hospice care.

Expert witnesses for the family testified during the nine-day trial that a fall O’Brien had in March 2014 caused a downfall in her health and was preventable.

Testimony also was presented alleging possible medication overdoses and staff failure to follow Savas O’Brien’s care plan.

Her children were seeking more than $10 million in damages. 

Good Shepherd has filed a motion for a new trial.  


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