Woman Accused of Killing Stepfather Waives Right to Jury Trial
DES MOINES, Iowa – A Des Moines woman accused of killing her stepfather has waived her right to a jury trial.
Twenty-nine-year-old Sera Alexander faces a first degree murder charge for the death of 49-year-old Anthony Hartmann. Alexander is accused of shooting Hartmann on May 8, 2017 when Hartmann returned to the family home to get some of his belongings.
Alexander’s mother claims her daughter did not know that a restraining order against Hartmann, who had a history of domestic violence, had recently expired.
Online court records show Alexander filed the waiver last week. In it, she says, “my decision is premised in part on advice of counsel, the nature of pre-trial publicity of my case, and the complex legal and factual issues involved in this case, and the desire to require written findings of fact and conclusions of law determined by the judicial fact finder.”
Alexander had previously expressed an intent to use Iowa’s “stand your ground” law as a defense. A judge ruled that it did not apply because the crime happened before the law went into effect.
Alexander’s trial, which will now be heard by a judge, is scheduled for March 5th in Polk County.