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Suspect in killing of Iowa pastor mentally unfit for trial

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Joshua-Pendleton1
On Wednesday a judge 36-year-old Joshua Pendleton to undergo treatment at the Iowa Medical Classification Facility.

FORT DODGE, Iowa (AP) -- A Fort Dodge man accused of beating a pastor to death outside a central Iowa church has been found mentally unfit to stand trial.

Webster County Judge Gina Badding on Wednesday ordered 36-year-old Joshua Pendleton to undergo treatment at the Iowa Medical Classification Facility.

Badding last month suspended proceedings in the case and ordered a mental competency evaluation after Pendleton's attorney said he had been acting irrationally.

Pendleton is charged with first-degree murder in the Oct. 2 slaying of the Rev. Allen Henderson. The 64-year-old Henderson was senior pastor at St. Paul and had served as a chaplain to first responders.

Law enforcement officials say on Wednesday, Oc. 2, at about 5:45 p.m. police received a call regarding an unresponsive male outside of the St. Paul Lutheran Church in Fort Dodge.

Police later identified the man as Henderson.

Henderson was sent to a Fort Dodge hospital where he was pronounced dead, appearing to have suffered from bodily injuries consistent with an assault.

Investigators say information obtained from witnesses in the area, as well as other evidence, indicated a confrontation had occurred at the church.

Officers were eventually directed to the 1400 block of 4th Avenue South where they believed a possible suspect may be.

While in the area police located Pendleton and took him to the Webster County Law Enforcement Center for further questioning.

As a result of information obtained during the investigation, police arrested Pendleton and charged him with robbery and first-degree murder.

Associated Press

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