- Associated Press - Wednesday, March 2, 2016

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) - A Waterloo man has pleaded guilty to second degree-murder in his girlfriend’s death in Linn County.

Thirty-eight-year-old Shawn Hogan admitted Tuesday to beating 28-year-old Crystal Gaffney with a wrench and stabbing her in the head with a screwdriver.

Authorities found Gaffney’s body on a road near Walker in July 2014. An autopsy determined she died of head trauma.

Police issued an Amber Alert for her three children, one of which was also Hogan’s. Court records show Hogan and Gaffney were involved in a child custody matter.

Authorities say the children were found unharmed with Hogan’s ex-wife, who told police she suspected he was responsible for Gaffney’s death after he asked her to take the children.

Hogan faces up to 50 years in prison. His sentencing is scheduled for May 20.

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