Pella Murder Trial Set to Begin

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The trial of a Pella woman accused of murder is scheduled to begin Thursday.

Opening statements are expected Thursday morning in the murder trial of 56-year-old Michelle Boat (pictured), who faces charges of first-degree murder connected to the stabbing death of 46-year-old Tracy Mondabaugh of Ottumwa.

Authorities say Mondabaugh was the girlfriend of Boat’s estranged husband and on May 18, 2020, Pella police were called to an apartment complex where a domestic dispute was reportedly taking place. Officers found Mondabaugh slumped in her vehicle with multiple stab wounds. She was later pronounced dead.

According to investigators, video footage recorded Boat following Mondabaugh around the Vermeer parking lot in Pella minutes before the alleged dispute took place.

Boat has pleaded not guilty. If convicted, Boat faces a mandatory sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole.

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