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Prosecutors rest case in Eliot Stowe murder trial


ONAWA, Iowa (KTIV) - The trial for a Monona County man accused of killing his grandmother back in 2018 began Tuesday.

On June 26, 2018, the Monona County Sheriffs Office was asked to check on the welfare of Cheryl Stowe after she didn't show up for a meeting in Des Moines, Iowa, for work.

A search of the property showed bloodstains on several spots around the home and a partially burned bat. A day later, the Sheriff's Office and DNR located a body wrapped in a rug a mile and a half from Cheryl Stowe's home.

The body was later identified as Cheryl Stowe, and ruled a homicide.

On Wednesday, Aug. 12, five witnesses were called to the stand by prosecutors.

Some of the witnesses included Eliot's parole officer, a criminalist, and a crime laboratory specialist. The probation officer said Eliot struggled with finding and maintaining a job. He said his behavior was concerning to him after Eliot barricaded him in a room demanding he gives him his gun.

Crime Laboratory Specialist, Richard Crivelo did fingerprint, and footwear comparisons from evidence gathered at the scene -- including a blanket, a rug, and duct tape.

"That print on exhibit 53 was identified as the left ring finger of James Eliot Stowe," said Crivelo.

Criminalist Jennifer Pullen performed DNA testing on a pair of shoes that belonged to Eliot. She was able to identify blood on both shoes.

"I developed a profile that matched the profile of Cheryl Stowe," said Pullen.

As far as the bat that was found on the scene -- Pullen said they were not able to develop a DNA profile -- but this could be because it was burned.

The fifth and final witness that took the stand, Wednesday, was Medical Examiner Jonathan Thompson.

He said when he received Cheryl Stowe's body it was decomposed. Thompson found she had fractures on her ribs, spine, hands, fingers, and legs.

The medical examiner ruled the death a homicide, coming to this conclusion because of her blunt force injuries -- and because she could not have wrapped herself in rugs and then taped them.

The trial is set to continue on Aug. 13.

Xava Parra

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