CEDAR RAPIDS (AP) — A man who was granted a new trial in the stabbing death of his ex-girlfriend has been sentenced to prison for life.
Nicholas Luerkens was sentenced Tuesday in Linn County District Court. Luerkens was in court May 17 for a hearing on a motion before his second trial but unexpectedly changed his plea to guilty of first-degree murder.
Luerkens admitted stabbing 29-year-old Lynnsey Donald to death on April 21, 2015, in front of Donald's son in a Marion grocery store parking lot. Luerkens then injured himself.
The Iowa Court of Appeals last year ordered a new trial for Luerkens after ruling the trial court erred in denying his request to submit an insanity defense instruction to the jury.