The Spirit Lake mother and her boyfriend who’re charged in the beating death of the woman’s young daughter will go to trial separately. Heidi Watkins goes to court in Algona in August while Jesse Wendelsdorf faces trial in July in Storm Lake. Both are charged with murder and child endangerment. Wendelsdorf also faces a charge of sexual abuse. Two-year-old Shelby Duis was found dead in January. The case prompted a change in Iowa law allowing the governor and some legislators to see previously confidential child abuse records.
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