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Cops Left Woman With Man Who Killed Her an Hour Later

Police say officers had no choice but to leave the scene without making any arrests
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jan 22, 2020 4:30 PM CST
This undated booking photo provided by the Webster County Jail shows Mark Russell.   (Webster County Jail via AP)

(Newser) – Police say a man killed his ex-girlfriend's mother at an Iowa home about an hour after officers went to the apartment following a reported assault but left without making an arrest or removing anyone from the tense scene, the AP reports. Mark Russell, of Fort Dodge, is accused of using a golf club to beat 45-year-old Angela McLeod to death. Russell, 28, is scheduled to appear in court Jan. 31 on a first-degree murder charge. Officers were called to McLeod's daughter's apartment in Fort Dodge on Monday morning and heard contrasting accounts from McLeod and Russell about the reported assault, police said in a news release Tuesday. McLeod had been staying at the apartment with her daughter, but it was not Russell's home, Webster County prosecutor Ryan Baldridge said.

Baldridge said Russell used to be in a relationship with McLeod's daughter. "It was apparent that Mr. Russell and Ms. McLeod had been in an argument, but it was impossible for those officers to determine fault or who the initial aggressor was," police said. Russell and McLeod told the officers that they could resolve their problems “without the need for criminal charges," and neither woman asked that Russell be forced to leave. Officers responding to another report about a dispute at the home about an hour later found McLeod unresponsive, police said. She was pronounced dead at the scene. Russell later told officers that he had repeatedly struck McLeod with the golf club. Russell has been imprisoned at least three times since 2012, police said. His criminal history includes convictions for illegal weapons possession and domestic assault, although the victim in that case wasn't McLeod or her daughter.

(Read more Iowa stories.)

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