- Associated Press - Thursday, September 3, 2015

DUBUQUE, Iowa (AP) - Court documents show a 19-year-old man in Iowa charged with sexually assaulting and killing a woman told police that she was “in the wrong place at the wrong time.”

Helmon Betwell faces charges of first-degree murder, first-degree sexual assault and two counts of third-degree burglary, the Telegraph Herald (https://bit.ly/1JPNDye ) reported.

He made an initial appearance Wednesday in court, where his bail was set at $1 million. His attorney had sought for the amount to be set a “reasonable” level, noting that Betwell didn’t have a prior criminal history.

Dubuque police say they went to a vacant property Tuesday morning after a man reported seeing another man strike a woman several times. The woman was found with severe facial injuries and taken to a hospital, where she later died. She did not have an ID on her, and Lt. Scott Baxter said investigators are awaiting confirmation of the woman’s identity from the state medical examiner’s office.

Police reviewed video captured on traffic cameras near the scene and it showed a man following a woman after he broke into a parked vehicle. Court documents state the two got into a confrontation on a sidewalk, and the man appeared to knock the woman unconscious before carrying her upstairs to the vacant property.

Investigators linked Betwell to the crime after looking at the video and later finding a Facebook profile with photos that resembled the man from the video.

Authorities met Betwell at his residence, and investigators noted his hands were injured and his tennis shoes appeared to have blood on them.

Betwell later admitted during interviews with police that he had hit the woman and sexually assaulted her.

He said he didn’t know the woman, that she was “in the wrong place at the wrong time” and that he was a loser and wanted to punish himself, that there was nothing better to do and he wanted to get into more trouble, according to court documents.

His next court appearance is scheduled for Sept. 11.


Information from: Telegraph Herald, https://www.thonline.com

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