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Following second-degree murder conviction, Onawa teen waives right to jury in sex abuse trial

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Jay Lee Neubaum trial

Jay Lee Neubaum watches jurors exit the Monona County courtroom in Onawa, Iowa, during his May trial for the shooting death of 16-year-old Joseph Hopkins in Mapleton, Iowa. Neubaum is scheduled to stand trial on Dec. 7 on 10 counts of sexual abuse and has waived his right to a jury trial.

ONAWA, Iowa -- A jury in May found Jay Lee Neubaum guilty of fatally shooting a fellow teenager.

His trial on numerous charges of sexual abuse nearing, Neubaum has chosen to have a judge decide his case this time.

Neubaum on Tuesday waived his right to a jury trial. District Judge Zachary Hindman approved the waiver and will hear the case, scheduled for a Dec. 7 trial in Monona County District Court.

Neubaum, 18, is charged with 10 counts of third-degree sexual abuse for the alleged sexual assault of six girls and forced sexual contact with a seventh. He is accused of assaulting the girls, who ranged in age from 13 to 16, from August 2019 through March 2020 in Mapleton, Iowa. In the case of three of the girls, Neubaum faces two counts. He is charged with one count for each of the other four incidents. Neubaum repeatedly denied the accusations during an interview with investigators.

Each count of sexual abuse carries a 10-year prison sentence.

His former attorney sought to have a separate trial for each victim, and a judge granted the request. Prosecutors requested a reconsideration of the ruling, and a second judge later denied the defense request for separate trials, ruling that judicial economy was best served with a single trial so that some witnesses and victims would not have to appear at several trials.

Neubaum is currently serving a 50-year prison sentence after Monona County jurors found him guilty of second-degree murder for the Jan. 31, 2020, shooting death of 16-year-old Joseph Hopkins.

Hopkins, of Mapleton, was shot once in the forehead with a 12-gauge shotgun while he, Neubaum and two other teenage boys were working on a demolition derby car in a garage at the home of Neubaum's grandmother, with whom he was living at the time.

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