Jury selection is scheduled to start today for a northeast Iowa man accused of murdering his wife and fleeing with their son to South Dakota last year. Forty-year-old Thomas Petersen has been charged with first-degree murder in the stabbing death of 36-year-old Judy Peterson at the couple’s home in Greene last June 4th.

Petersen was later arrested in Kadoka South Dakota after forcing a sheriff’s vehicle off the road and ramming another vehicle, injuring a sheriff. The couple’s two-year-old son was in the car during that chase but was not injured. If Petersen is convicted by a Butler County jury on the first-degree murder charge, he would face the mandatory sentence of life in prison without the opportunity for parole.

A Butler County District Court judge last month denied a change of venue request in the trial. Jury selection is to start at 9 o’clock this morning at the Butler County Courthouse in Allison.

By Bob Fisher, KRIB, Mason City