LE MARS, Iowa | A man charged with killing his sister has chosen to have a judge rather than a jury decide his case.
Thomas Bibler waived his right to a jury trial in paperwork filed Friday in Plymouth County District Court. His attorney, public defender Billy Oyadare, gave no reason in the waiver for Bibler's decision.
Bibler, 34, has pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder, willful injury and going armed with intent in connection with the June 11 stabbing death of Shannon Bogh, 27, of Le Mars.
Bibler's trial is scheduled for May 16.
In his waiver of the right to a jury trial, Bibler acknowledged that he understood that he was giving up the right to have 12 people decide his case and that once he waived his right to a jury trial, he may not withdraw that waiver.
Oyadare had earlier filed notice that Bibler intends to assert a defense of insanity and/or diminished responsibility at trial.
Bibler is accused of assaulting Bogh in her home at 591 15th St. SW with an edged weapon. She died a short time later at the Le Mars hospital.
A witness to the stabbing identified Bibler as a suspect, and he was arrested without incident in the apartment about 30 minutes after the assault.
If found guilty of first-degree murder, Bibler would face a mandatory sentence of life in prison without parole.