Ottumwa Man Found Guilty of First-Degree Murder


An Ottumwa man faces a life sentence after a judge found him guilty of murder on Tuesday.

Judge Greg Milani convicted Preston Martin, 42, of first-degree murder, first-degree robbery, and first-degree burglary. Martin opted for a bench trial rather than a jury trial which took place last May.

Milani says the state proved beyond a reasonable doubt that Martin killed 41-year-old Thomas Carlton Foster on May 25, 2019, at Foster’s home on Queen Anne Avenue in Ottumwa. Martin entered the residence without permission and stabbed Foster to death with a knife from Foster’s kitchen.

Police say when Martin was arrested, he had blood on his clothing and was carrying a money container from Foster’s home.

Martin’s sentencing is scheduled for March 13th. In the state of Iowa, first-degree murder carries a mandatory sentence of life in prison without parole. First-degree robbery and first-degree burglary each carry a potential 25-year sentence.

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Selena Foster Barker
Selena Foster Barker
1 year ago

Tommy was my only and younger brother. We have not been able to publicly comment on the loss we have suffered by the hands of this murderer until after his conviction.  Tommy was caring and loved by many. Although he didn’t have his own kids he was an awesome uncle to his nieces and nephews. Tommy would stay with them so his sisters could travel and work. He was the funny uncle with the big obnoxious laugh that would have everyone around him in stitches. He loved his big sisters and up to this point his protectors.  Tommy helped take care of… Read more »