The Eighth Circuit United States Court of Appeals has affirmed the conviction and death sentence of a man accused in the drug-related deaths of five former north-central Iowans.
Forty-year-old Dustin Honken had appealed his sentence after being convicted of the deaths of Terry DeGeus of Britt, Greg Nicholson of Mason City, Lori Duncan of Mason City, and her two daughters, ten-year-old Kandace and six-year-old Amber.
The five disappeared in 1993 after it was learned that Nicholson and DeGeus were federal drug informants that had bought methamphetamine from Honken. The bodies of the five were discovered in two separate graves outside of Mason City in late 2000 after Honken’s girlfriend, Angela Johnson, gave out the location of the graves to a jailhouse informant.
Honken is on federal death row in Terre Haute, Indiana, while Johnson is in a federal prison in Fort Worth, Texas, after having her first appeal to the Eighth Circuit denied earlier this year. Johnson is the first woman to have received a federal death sentence in over 50 years.