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Appeal dismissed, Tait Purk case back to Tama Co. District Court

October 11, 2017
By John Speer - Editor ( , Toledo Chronicle, Tama News-Herald

Tait Purk, whose guilty verdict on a charge of 1st degree murder was overturned by Tama County District Court Judge Mitchell E. Turner on Aug. 14, appears to be heading back to trial. Purk, 51, was charged on Dec. 3, 2016, with murder in the cold case of his fiance Cora Ann Okonski who vanished in mid-April, 2000. She has never been located.

Purk was found guilty in May of this year by an Iowa County Jury.

The Office of Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller on Thursday, Oct. 5, withdrew an appeal by Tama County Attorney Brent Heeren of the decison overturning the guilty verdict in the case. The motion says the State of Iowa, not the county attorney, has jurisdiction when a case reaches the Supreme Court.

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Judge Mitchell E. Turner

"In light of the broad discretion granted to the district court to grant a new trial" the attorney general's office voluntarily withdrew the appeal the record said.

As a result, the District Court was directed to proceed.

A hearing by telephone status conference has been set for today, Oct. 11, by District Court Judge Mitchell E. Turner. The call, to be arranged by Purk's attorneys, will include the prosecution, Purk and Judge Turner.

Purk was found guilty in May by an Iowa County Jury.



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