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Betwell Pleads Guilty to Murder Charge, Sentenced to Life in Prison


Just more than three years after the crime, a Dubuque man has admitted that he killed a local woman. 22-year-old Helmon Betwell yesterday pled guilty to a 1st Degree Murder charge in connection with the September 2015 death of 66-year-old Nancy Krapfl. In exchange for the plea, a sexual assault charge against Betwell was dropped. According to prosecutors, Betwell attacked Krapfl while she was out for her morning walk on September 1, 2015. He sexually assaulted and beat her in a vacant home near the intersection of 17th and Heeb Streets, then left her for dead. Krapfl did die of her injuries later that day. Traffic camera footage tied Betwell to the crime, and he was arrested the following day. In the three years since then, Betwell’s competency has been argued multiple times, and he spent several months at a state psychiatric facility as attorneys sparred over whether he was fit for trial. He was scheduled to finally go on trial next week. 1st Degree Murder carries a mandatory life prison sentence, with no possibility for parole.

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