TOLEDO --While Dustin Jefferson received a mandatory life sentence last week for helping his mother kill his wife, other unrelated charges against him remain active.

Charges of alleged sex abuse of a 12-year-old girl are pending in Tama County. Jefferson's trial on that charge was scheduled to begin Monday, but Judge Mary Chicchelly has reset the trial date for Sept. 19.

Kerry O'Clair Jefferson, 32, died in September 2013, stabbed twice in the neck by Ginger Jefferson, 59. Ginger Jefferson was convicted of first-degree murder and began serving a life sentence in July 2014.

Prosecutor Laura Roan at Dustin and Ginger Jefferson's trials said the pair got into an argument with O'Clair Jefferson after a morning of heavy drinking. The confrontation developed because O'Clair Jefferson told police where to find her husband, according to Roan.

Meskwaki Nation police had an outstanding arrest warrant for Dustin Jefferson. He was wanted at the time for five counts of third-degree sexual abuse.

Roan and Tama County Attorney Brent Heeren prosecuted Dustin Jefferson for aiding and abetting first-degree murder and are pursing the sex abuse charges as a habitual offender. Before the murder conviction, Jefferson's criminal history already included three felony convictions in Tama County.

Prosecutors made three attempts to convict Dustin Jefferson of murder. The initial proceeding ended during jury selection because defense attorney Thomas Gaul raised objections about the lack of Native Americans in the jury pool.

A trial in late September concluded with a hung jury and no verdict. Judge Chicchelly moved the second trial to Jasper County after granting Gaul's request for change of venue.

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Regional Editor for the Courier

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