Defense attorney seeks 2nd move for Early, Iowa, man's murder trial

2013-05-28T10:21:00Z 2015-01-02T22:26:03Z Defense attorney seeks 2nd move for Early, Iowa, man's murder trialNICK HYTREK Sioux City Journal

SAC CITY, Iowa | The abduction of two girls near Dayton, Iowa, could affect the trial of an Early, Iowa, man accused of killing his mother.

Public defender Charles Kenville has asked for a second change of venue for Kirk Levin's murder trial because of the publicity surrounding the abduction of the girls and the subsequent suicide of the man accused of kidnapping them.

Earlier this month, Levin's trial was moved from Sac County to Webster County. Dayton is located in Webster County, and Kenville said the kidnapping and possible homicide would not make it possible for Levin to receive a fair trial. Some of the potential jurors selected for the term covering Levin's trial live in or near Dayton, Kenville said.

"Given the nature and circumstances of the allegations against the defendant it is unrealistic to think the jury will not be improperly influenced by the recent events in their county of residence," Kenville wrote in his motion, filed Friday.

Michael Klunder, 42, committed suicide shortly after a 12-year-old he is suspected of abducting escaped. Kathlynn Shepard, 15, is still missing.

Kenville had asked that Levin's trial be moved from Sac County because the extensive media coverage after his arrest would have made it hard to find an impartial jury there.

No hearings have been scheduled on the new change of venue request. Kenville did not immediately return a message left for him.

Levin, 21, is scheduled to stand trial June 3 on charges of first-degree murder and third-degree kidnapping. He's accused of killing his mother, Marilyn Schmitt, 45, on Jan. 3.

Authorties found Schmitt's body in her rural Early home while investigating a report that Levin, who had been released from prison Jan. 1 after serving two years for burglary, had kidnapped a female acquaintance from Storm Lake, Iowa. The kidnapping victim escaped when Levin crashed a car into a ditch near his mother's farm.

If found guilty of first-degree murder, Levin would face a mandatory sentence of life in prison without parole.

Copyright 2015 Sioux City Journal. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Business Search

Latest Offers

View More

Featured Businesses

View More

Community Calendar

Calendar Sponsor

Top Jobs

Director of Child Care

Now Hiring

Drivers Wanted

Now Hiring

Class A CDL Driver

Now Hiring Civil Positions

Now Hiring

Teachers & Coaches

Now Hiring

Maintenance, IT Draftering & More

Chair Rental Available

Coordinator of the Center for Brain & Behavior Research

Certified Nurse Aide (CNA) in Training

Class A CDL Driver

Casey’s General Store - Now Hiring

Now Hiring

Now Hiring

Customer Assistance Professional

Utility/Sewer Crews

Now Hiring

Financial Coordinator

PT Weekend Operator

Concrete foreman finisher

Cook for Camp Goodwill

CDL Drivers

Restaurant Positions

PT Radiologic Technology Instructor

Now Hiring

Inbound Supervisor

Director of Workforce Solutions

Office Assistant


Insurance Inspector

Armored Car Security Guard

Medical Laboratory Scientist / Med Tech

Part Time Sales



Poll: Is Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad’s plan to privatize management of Medicaid a good or bad idea?

View Results