SIOUX CITY -- A man charged with strangling a woman in a Sioux City hotel room has waived his right to have a jury trial, choosing instead to have a judge decide his case.
In the wavier, signed on Jan. 27 and filed Saturday in Woodbury County District Court, Jordan Henry acknowledged the rights he was giving up and that he would be unable to withdraw the waiver. District Judge Steven Andreasen has presided over the case and now will preside at the trial.
Henry, 30, is accused of strangling Elizabeth Bockholt in a Sioux City hotel room on Jan. 24, 2019, and then setting fire to the room. He has pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder and first-degree arson.
A trial date has yet to be set. Henry remains in the Woodbury County Jail on a $502,000 bond.
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If found guilty of first-degree murder, Henry would receive a mandatory sentence of life in prison without parole. First-degree arson carries a 25-year prison sentence.
Firefighters and police found Bockholt's body after responding to the fire at the Wingate by Wyndham, 4716 Southern Hills Drive. According to court documents, Bockholt, 40, of Hinton, Iowa, and Henry had a romantic relationship prior to Henry being sentenced to prison in 2017, and she voluntarily met him at the hotel the night she died. Henry was identified on surveillance video and by witnesses who saw him leaving the scene just after the fire.
Public defender Billy Oyadare last month filed notice that he plans to use defenses of insanity, intoxication and methamphetamine-induced psychosis and will call a Los Angeles clinical psychologist as an expert witness to testify in Henry's defense.
First Assistant Woodbury County Attorney Mark Campbell has moved to strike the psychological defenses. He argued that methamphetamine-induced psychosis has not been recognized as a defense in Iowa. The Iowa Supreme Court has also rejected the use of voluntary intoxication as an insanity defense, Campbell said in his motion.