A federal jury is starting its deliberations this morning in Iowa’s first case in 40 years that could lead to the death penalty. After over six weeks of evidence being presented inside the federal courthouse in Sioux City, jurors today get the case of 35-year-old Dustin Honken. Honken is accused of the execution-style slayings of three adults and two children in 1993, burying their bodies in farm fields outside of Mason City, where they were not found until the fall of 2000. In Monday’s closing arguments, prosecutors say Honken had the motive and means to kill the five, including two dealers turned informants, to save his drug enterprise. Honken’s attorneys in their closing statements Monday say that the federal government’s case is weak, with little physical evidence, and prosecutors having to rely on testimony from career criminals who shared prison cells with Honken and are out to help themselves. Honken, formerly of Britt, is currently serving time on a 27-year prison sentence for dealing drugs, and could face a death sentence if convicted.
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