Ottumwa Man Faces Additional Charge After Skipping Verdict, Attempting Escape

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An Ottumwa man who skipped the jury verdict in his murder trial and went on the run faces another charge after his capture.

63-year-old Gregory Showalter was not present in court on Friday when a Wapello County jury returned a guilty verdict for first-degree murder, willful injury, abuse of a corpse, and domestic abuse. Authorities say Showalter murdered his wife, Helen Showalter, in July 2021.

A search for Showalter began on Friday. Court records say on Saturday at 9:45 AM, law enforcement searched Showalter’s residence at 333 Evergreen in Ottumwa.

Officers entered the residence, called out Showalter’s name, declared they had a valid warrant for his arrest, and informed Showalter that he did not have the right to hide.

According to court records, Showalter was discovered hiding behind a chair in the residence. Officers told Showalter to show his hands but he refused. Officers then grabbed Showalter’s wrists and told him to come out but he pulled down his arms. Showalter was eventually pulled out from behind the chair and placed in handcuffs.

Showalter is currently in the Wapello County Jail where he is being held without bond. He faces an additional charge of interference with official acts.

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