- Associated Press - Friday, September 14, 2018

DUBUQUE, Iowa (AP) - A man accused of killing and sexually assaulting a woman in Dubuque has changed his plea to guilty.

Twenty-two-year-old Helmon Betwell was sentenced Thursday to life in prison without the possibility of parole after he entered the new plea. A charge of sexual assault was dismissed. Betwell’s trial was scheduled to begin next week.

Police say he attacked 66-year-old Nancy Krapfl on Sept. 1, 2015, as she was walking in Dubuque.

In April last year a judge ruled Betwell was competent for trial after his lawyers had questioned his ability to help prepare his defense.

A defense expert had said Betwell has an intellectual disability that prevents him from understanding the proceedings. The judge said subnormal intelligence is just one consideration in a competency decision.

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