Indiana man takes plea deal in Iowa slaying

March 26, 2019

FORT DODGE, Iowa (AP) — Authorities say an Indiana man took a plea deal on the day jury selection was to begin for his Iowa murder trial.

Webster County District Court records say 26-year-old Phillip Williams, of Lafayette, Indiana, pleaded guilty Monday to attempted murder, desecration of a corpse and being an accessory after the fact. He’d originally pleaded not guilty to a charge of first-degree murder, which carries a life sentence.

The records say Williams’ plea deal calls for a 32-year sentence. Sentencing is set for April 22.

Prosecutors say Williams and 27-year-old Mackenzie Knigge killed 26-year-old Jessica Gomez, of Fort Dodge, in August 2017. Gomez’s burned body was found in a field near Clare.

Knigge’s trial is scheduled to begin June 10.