Covering the Land of Lincoln

Independent autopsy ordered in Ottumwa woman’s death

Sept. 21 – OTTUMWA – A man from Ottumwa, charged with the murder of his wife, hired the same medical examiner who examined Trayvon Martin’s body for an independent autopsy.

Gregory Allen Showalter Sr., the Ottumwa man charged with the July murder of his wife, Helen Showalter, was approved by a judge to have an independent autopsy performed on the case. The prosecution did not reject his application.

In August, attorney Bob Breckenridge, representing Gregory Showalter, petitioned the court to retrieve Helen Showalter’s body after the State Medical Examiner’s Office finished examining her remains.

On Monday, Judge Myron Gookin ordered the body to be transported to Urbana, Illinois, for Dr. Shiping Bao could be examined.

Bao is the forensic pathologist who examined the remains of Trayvon Martin in the George Zimmerman case in Florida. He was criticized for changing a conclusion in his report during the 2013 trial while giving evidence. Zimmermann was later acquitted.

Bao was released after the trial, the Daytona Beach News Journal reported.

Once Bao finishes his investigation, the body will be returned to Iowa and handed over to the next of kin to make arrangements, court documents said.

While Gregory Showalter’s bond was held at $ 250,000, Gookin changed his release terms to only post 10% for release. Gregory Showalter was released on bail on August 18.

After initially being charged with first degree murder, prosecutors filed three additional charges against Gregory Showalter, including corpse abuse, willful harm, and bodily harm that impaired breathing or circulation.

First degree murder in Iowa, if convicted, carries a life sentence without parole. The other charges could extend that sentence for an additional 25 years if convicted.

Helen Showalter was reported missing by family members on July 31, and was found dead a day later by a person walking near the Des Moines River in Wapello County.

Two days after the body was found, Gregory Showalter surrendered to the authorities on August 3 and was charged.

Kyle Ocker is the editor of the Ottumwa Courier and the Oskaloosa Herald. He can be reached at [email protected] Follow him on Twitter @Kyle_Ocker.

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