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  1. #16
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
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    Maryland
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    4,892
    Judge grants venue change in cold case trial

    http://wcfcourier.com/news/local/cri...1c43dd119.html

    “Due to numerous factors, such a degree of prejudice exits in Tama County there is a substantial likelihood a fair and impartial trial cannot be preserved with a jury selected from Tama County,” Hunter argued in a January court filing.

    Prosecutors agreed, and on Tuesday following a phone hearing, District Court Judge Mitchell Turner ordered the trial be moved to Marengo, in Iowa County.

    The trial is currently scheduled for May 1.

  2. #17
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
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    Maryland
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    4,892
    Purk murder trial to begin Monday

    http://www.tamatoledonews.com/page/c....html?nav=5006

    Trial for Tait Otis Purk, 50, charged with 1st degree murder, is set to begin Monday, May 1, on a change of venue from Tama County to Iowa County District Court in Marengo. Court records show the trial is expected to take six to eight days.

  3. #18
    Join Date
    Sep 2014
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    869
    Another article:
    http://www.desmoinesregister.com/sto...day/307514001/

    I don't see how they can successfully convict the accused. A body was never found and there are no witnesses to the murder.

  4. #19
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Posts
    21,124
    http://www.thegazette.com/subject/ne...woman-20170504

    A former co-worker of Tait Purk testified Thursday he didn’t believe it at first when Purk told him he had killed his girlfriend after she threatened to expose him for stealing a Chevy pickup and for robbing a convenience store.

    “It just seemed too far out there,” Chad Rogers, 49, told jurors as testimony entered the second day in Purk’s first-degree murder trial in an Iowa County District courtroom...

    John Carr, who retired from the Tama Police Department in 2012, said he had been at the home three times for “relationship issues” in late 1999 and early 2000. Twice, Okonski was upset but denied anything physical had happened, and the officer gave her a ride to an acquaintance’s house.

  5. #20
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    Oct 2014
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    Maryland
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    Tait Purk takes the stand, recounts night fiancee went missing

    http://www.thegazette.com/subject/ne...ssing-20170508

    Tait Purk took the stand Monday, saying more than once he didn’t kill his fiancée Cora Okonski and doesn’t know what happened to her in April 2000.

    Purk said he and Okonski, 23, had relationship problems and he thought Okonski’s drug issues were to blame. Now, he said, he thinks she had mental health issues. Later in testimony, he said their relationship was good — “they just had arguments.”

    “I wasn’t violent,” Purk said. “She got violent.”

    During testimony on Monday, Purk explained the large bruise on Okonski’s back that a dispatcher testified about last week, was from her falling, and the scratch on the top of her arm was from a cat, not the result of domestic abuse as Okonski claimed. In another incident that witnesses testified about last week involving him setting her belongings on fire and her getting burned, Purk admitted to burning the items but said Okonski slipped near the fire and was injured.
    Purk said Monday he and Okonski got into an argument on April 16, 2000, over the discussion of a wedding dress. He wanted to slow things down because he didn’t have the money. Purk said Okonski was upset and went for walk about 10 or 11 a.m.

    Her 2-year-old son, Austin, stayed with him and Okonski didn’t return until 8 or 8:30 p.m., Purk said. She was still upset and eventually went to borrow a writing pad from a neighbor.

    Purk said he could see her in the bedroom when she returned and she was writing a letter. She then asked him for money to buy cigarettes. She then took the money and left.

    Purk watched her go out the back door, around the side of the house to Fifth Street and walk west toward the store. He said it was the last time he saw her.

    Purk denied telling Sean Ward and Chad Rogers, who testified last week, that he killed Okonski. He began tearing up and wiped his eyes with a tissue in refuting their testimony.

    “I dispute (that) story 100 percent,” Purk said. “I didn’t kill her.”

  6. #21
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
    Posts
    739
    Jury finds man guilty in Tama County cold case homicide:
    http://www.kcrg.com/content/news/Tam...421872513.html

  7. #22
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    Oct 2014
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    Maryland
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    4,892
    Prosecutors win conviction in rare Iowa 'no body' murder case

    http://www.desmoinesregister.com/sto...ski/316262001/

    Prosecutors have won a conviction in a rare Iowa first-degree murder trial where no body has been found, convincing jurors that a former Tama man killed his girlfriend — who vanished without a trace.

    The jury verdict in the case against Tait Otis Purk was announced at 12:45 p.m. Wednesday after more than four hours of deliberation, according to Cedar Rapids Gazette court reporter Trish Mehaffey, who tweeted the news from the courtroom.

    Purk, 50, now faces a mandatory life sentence for the death of Cora Ann Okonski, who was 23 and planning to marry the man before she disappeared. Prosecutors called witnesses who testified that Purk himself claimed he killed Okonski using a choke hold before burying her in a remote location, reportedly because she threatened to tell police about a truck theft and store robbery he was involved in.
    Sentencing is set for July 10th.

  8. #23
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    Oct 2014
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    Maryland
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    Purk motion for new trial under advisement

    http://www.tamatoledonews.com/page/c....html?nav=5006

    Arguments for a new trial in the 1st degree murder conviction of Tait Otis Purk were heard by Judge Mitchell E. Turner in Tama County District Court in Toledo Friday morning, July 14.

    .....

    Judge Turner said he would try to rule in the case before the sentencing date later this month and allowed a request by Heeren for the prosecution and defense to submit briefs to him by July 21.

    The sentencing date was pushed back to July 28th.

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