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Woman faces murder charge for Lake Park homicide
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Woman faces murder charge for Lake Park homicide

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SPIRIT LAKE, Iowa -- Authorities have arrested a woman suspected of being involved in the December death of a Lake Park, Iowa, woman.

Allison Decker mugshot

Decker

Allison Decker, 26, is charged in Dickinson County District Court with first-degree murder in connection with the death of 25-year-old Angel Bastman, whose body was found Dec. 22 at her home at 104 Maple Ave.

District Associate Judge David Larson has set bond for Decker, who is being held in the Dickinson County Jail, at $1 million.

Decker, who is listed as a transient with no address, was arrested on an outstanding warrant Monday in Sioux City and was held in Woodbury County before being transported to Dickinson County to face the murder charge.

According to court documents, Bastman was killed at approximately 5 p.m. Dec. 21. Police were called to her home for the report of a homicide at 11:30 a.m. the following day.

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Bastman's death was determined to be a homicide, and court documents do not indicate how she died. Darrell Simmons, Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation special agent in charge, declined Wednesday to release the cause of death.

Investigators determined that Bastman's rental car was missing from her home, and four days later Sioux City police spotted it and pursued the driver, who attempted to flee. The driver, Justice Berntson, was arrested after crashing the car.

According to court documents, Berntson and Decker both were found in Sioux City in possession of property belonging to Bastman and her family. Witnesses and electronic communications records showed that both Berntson and Decker made statements that they were involved in Bastman's death.

"(Berntson's) still a person of interest," Simmons said.

Justice Berntson mugshot

Berntson

Berntson, 23, of Elk Point, South Dakota, later pleaded guilty in Woodbury County to eluding and driving while license barred and was sentenced to 90 days in jail.

In March, District Judge Nancy Whittenburg revoked his probation from a December 2019 burglary conviction in Dickinson County and sentenced him to the original five-year prison sentence. Berntson is currently in custody at the Fort Dodge Correctional Facility, and the Iowa Department of Corrections has set a tentative discharge date of April 11, 2023.

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