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Arrest Made In Student Death

By Ellis Codjoe, March 14, 2018

An arrest has been made in connection to the stabbing death of William Penn student and former basketball player Marquis Todd.

According to Michael Motsinger, Special Agent in Charge with the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation, 23 year old Luke VanHemert of Oskaloosa has been charged with second degree murder. VanHemert was placed under arrest at his place of employment in Pella. VanHemert surrendered to officers peacefully. If convicted, he could face up to 50 years in prision.

Todd’s autopsy was performed at the Iowa Office of the State Medical Examiner in Ankeny. The determination was then made that the cause of death was from a stab wound and the manner of death was a homicide.

On March 1, Oskaloosa police were called to the 603 North Street to respond to a fight. Authorities believed that a minor car crash led to the altercation. The above address is the residence of Luke VanHemert. Special Agent Motsinger made mention that there were three separate confrontations at the residence that night, the last of which resulted in the stabbing.

According to the complaint, a verbal confrontation turned physical with Luke VanHemert and Marquis Todd confronting each other while D’Angelo Allen and Mikeal Donaldson (both members of the William Penn basketball team) confronted Elijah Marcus. After interviewing all parties involved, it was determined that Todd’s only interaction was with Luke VanHemert.

Stanley VanHemert called 911 and reported that one of the individuals was harmed in the fight. Police found Allen, Donaldson and an injured Todd lying in the backseat with a stab wound in the parking lot at Jiffy. Paramedics were called and transported Todd where he later died.

VanHemert is currently being held at the Mahaska county jail on a $500,000 bond.

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