MONONA COUNTY, Iowa (KTIV) – State prosecutors continue to wait on a defense team’s medical report on the mental condition of a Siouxland man charged in the murder of his grandmother.
Eliot Stowe has pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity to first-degree murder in the death of 66-year-old Cheryl Stowe.
His trial is set for September 10 in Monona County District Court.
According to court documents, after Stowe filed for the Notice of Insanity on January 19, a report from Dr. Richard Frederick would be forwarded to the state” as soon as it is available.”
According to court documents, the state told the defense it needed the report to examine a number of items, including the expert’s opinions, whether the state would need to obtain its own expert and to have Stowe’s mental state evaluated. The documents claim there were repeated assurances the report would be provided.
The same court documents claim the report has yet to make its way to the state. The state was able to make contact with the defense around July 17. In the conversation, the state said there was little time remaining before the trial for the state “to do what it must regarding the defense expert”. In addition, state prosecutors claim they have other matters scheduled after the current trial date on September 10 “and if the case were continued it would not be possible to reset within the one-year speedy deadline.” The one-year speedy trial right expires on December 17.
Court documents claim the prosecution was assured Stowe would waive the one-year speedy deadline if a new trial date was selected, with Jan. 5, 2020 tentatively selected pending the defense filing the waiver. But according to court documents, since the July 17 communication, neither the expert report nor the waiver has been filed. In addition, the state claims the defense has ceased all communication.
A hearing in the case has been set for 8:30 a.m. on August 23.
According to a criminal complaint, Stowe had a strained relationship with his grandmother prior to her death.
Cheryl Stowe had contacted the Monona County Sheriff’s office last year on an outstanding warrant for grandson’s arrest and had arranged for him to turn himself in.
On June 26, 2018, the Monona County Sheriff’s Office was asked to check on the welfare of Cheryl Stowe after she didn’t show up to work.
When a deputy arrived at her home, Eliot Stowe answered the door, claiming she had left for the airport several days ago.
A search of the property revealed bloodstains on the floor and wall of the home and a partially burned bat.
On June 27, 2018, Cheryl’s Stowe’s body was found a mile and a half away from her home.
Iowa State Medical Examiners concluded her death was a result of “complex homicidal violence.”