Mark Becker To Stand Trial In Ed Thomas Slaying

We’re not sure if there’s any such thing as “good news” when a murder trial starts going forward - after all, one man’s dead, and another is looking at life without parole - but such is the nature of justice and punishment, both of which are sorely needed in Parkersburg, Iowa.

Mark Becker Ed Thomas

That’s where, earlier this summer, venerated head coach and community leader Ed Thomas was allegedly gunned down by a troubled ex-player, Mark Becker. Despite the relatively easy identification and apprehension of Becker shortly thereafter, Becker has pled not guilty to the the first-degree murder charge, which will mainly serve to make this situation more difficult for all parties involved, and his attorney was angling for Becker to be declared unfit to stand trial. That didn’t happen, though, as a judge has just ruled Becker will face trial after all.

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Clerical Snafu Let Accused Coach Killer Go Free

New details are beginning to emerge about Mark Becker, the accused shooter of beloved Iowa high school football coach Ed Thomas, including his arrest the previous weekend. After using a baseball bat and his car to terrorize a random couple, he lead Butler County deputies on a car chase before being taken into custody and sent to a local hospital for a psychiatric evaluation.

Mark Becker Ed Thomas

(Becker [L], accused of shooting & killing Coach Thomas [R])

But somehow Becker was released from the hospital and just left, which came as a surprise to Cedar Falls police, who had asked the Butler County deputies to notify them because they had planned to arrest him on two felony charges relating to the assault and chase. So instead of being behind bars or continuing to be under hospital care, Becker was able to roam the streets and carry out his plan to kill his former coach.

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Well-Liked Iowa HS Football Coach Shot To Death

Ed Thomas, a popular Iowa high school football coach who saw many of his players make it to the NFL, was shot & killed in the school’s weight room this morning.

Ed Thomas Parkersburg HS football coach

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Beloved Football Coach Shot And Killed At School

It was almost about 13 months ago that a massive tornado struck the town of Parkersburg in northeast Iowa, flattening the small town. One of the first reconstruction projects was the football field, and for good reason; many towns find a common bond in their high school football team, but few programs are as prolific as Aplington-Parkersburg; the “Sacred Acre,” as the field is called, has been the home of several NFL veterans, all under the tutelage of longtime head coach and teacher Ed Thomas.

Ed Thomas
(Thomas, leading his team in prayer before their first playoff game after the tornado.)

So it’s with an unbelievable amount of shock that we learn today that Thomas was shot several times at the school’s weight room this morning, and he passed away shortly after arriving at a nearby hospital. No students were harmed, and the suspect is reportedly in custody, so this appeared to be a targeted attack.

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