After multiple delays due to competency questions and a mistrial in August, the trial of a Fort Dodge man accused of murdering his ex-girlfriend’s mother with a golf club is finally underway in Mason City.
The trial of 31-year-old Mark Russell began Monday and is expected to last five days. It is being prosecuted by Attorneys Ryan Baldridge and Brad McIntyre with the Webster County Attorney’s Office.
According to court documents, Russell was arrested in January 2020 after being accused of murdering 45-year-old Angela McLeod. A criminal complaint states that officers found McLeod face down on a bedroom floor with blood on the carpet near a golf club missing its head. She was later pronounced dead.
Russell’s trial has been delayed several times for competency evaluations, the last was declared during the second day of jury selection in Webster County District Court in August after a judge found probable cause that Russell was suffering from a mental disorder that rendered him incompetent to stand trial. After he was evaluated, a judge ruled that he was competent to stand trial.
In October, Russell’s attorney filed a motion for a change of venue due to pre-trial publicity. Judge Angela Doyle approved the motion and ordered the case be moved to Cerro Gordo County.