A Buena Vista County jury has found Jesse Wendelsdorf not guilty on charges of first-degree murder and first-degree sexual abuse. Wendelsdorf, of Spirit Lake, was charged with sexually abusing and beating to death two-year-old Shelby Duis. Duis was the daughter of Wendelsdorf’s girlfriend Heidi Watkins. The case went to the jury Wednesday and jurors returned their verdict at 1:30 this afternoon. Watkins will go on trial on murder and sexual abuse charges August 8th. The high profile case raised questions about Iowa’s system for reporting abuse and forced a change in state law to open up some Department of Human Services records.
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