A Fort Dodge man accused of beating his ex-girlfriend’s mother to death with a golf club in 2020 has been found guilty of first-degree murder.

The jury in the case against Mark Russell deliberated for around an hour and a half after closing arguments Thursday morning before finding him guilty in the January 2020 death of 45-year-old Angela McLeod. Webster County Assistant Attorney Ryan Baldridge says they are happy with the verdict.

“We’ve been confident throughout the prosecution of this case that we would have a successful outcome — in large part due to the quality of the investigation conducted by the Fort Dodge Police Department early on,” Baldridge says. The trial was moved from Webster County to Cerro Gordo County due to pre-trial publicity.

Baldridge says the trial only took three days — but the family of Angela McLeod has waited a long time for the verdict. “We certainly hope that this verdict gives some sort of closure to the family. This has been a good three years coming for them and that we know their loss is certainly substantial and tough to deal with we hope that this gives them some sort of closure and justice in the matter,” Baldridge says. Sentencing will be held on March 20th in Webster County District Court.

(By Brooke Bickford, KFVD, Fort Dodge)

Radio Iowa