Man found with dying woman’s blood on his hands is convicted

April 16, 2019

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A jury has convicted a man who Des Moines police say was found with his dying girlfriend’s blood on his hands.

The Des Moines Register reports that 33-year-old Nickolas Pettinger was found guilty Monday of first-degree murder. He’ll be sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

Prosecutors say Pettinger choked and used a 20-pound weight to batter 19-year-old Katelynn “Kat” Gould on Dec. 12, 2016, in a Des Moines garage. Prosecutors say Gould’s blood was on Pettinger’s hands and clothes when he was taken into custody after hiding in a nearby garage for more than 90 minutes. Prosecutor Thomas Miller told jurors Pettinger was “caught red-handed in every sense of the word.”

Pettinger’s attorney said his client could have touched his dying girlfriend after someone else attacked her while Pettinger was elsewhere.