Poppen charged with attempted murder, willful injury

Authorities say accused cut throats of two women

Mark Poppen

Mark Poppen

Mark Poppen has been charged with attempted murder and willful injury following a violent assault Tuesday evening in Fort Dodge.

Poppen, 46, of Fort Dodge, is accused of cutting the throats of two women at 3109 Ninth Ave. S. around 9:24 p.m. Tuesday.

According to the criminal complaints, filed with the Webster County attorney’s office, Poppen allegedly told investigators that he was mad at Mary Kay McMahon, who lives at that residence, because she kicked him out of the house.

Poppen allegedly told officers that he wanted to murder McMahon.

The complaint stated that Poppen grabbed what was described as either a utility knife or a carpenter’s knife, went up to McMahon, threw her to the ground and cut her throat twice.

The complaint stated McMahon’s sister, Sandra Mercer, arrived on scene and saw what was happening. She ran to call 911, but Poppen then allegedly ran after her, threw her to the ground and cut her throat as well.

The complaint stated that Poppen allegedly told investigators that he did that so Mercer would not call 911.

Both McMahon and Mercer then went to another house and told the person living there to call police and an ambulance.

Officers, firefighters and paramedics responded to the scene to treat McMahon and Mercer. Both were taken to UnityPoint Health — Trinity Regional Medical Center.

The sisters were reported to be in stable condition as of early Tuesday morning.

Poppen was arrested by Fort Dodge police on charges of attempted murder and willful injury causing serious injury.

He made his initial appearance in Webster County Magistrate Court Wednesday morning.

Magistrate William Habhab ordered Poppen held in the Webster County Jail on a combined $600,000 cash-only bond.

Habhab also issued two no-contact orders; one ordering Poppen to stay away from McMahon and the other ordering him to stay away from Mercer.

Poppen’s preliminary hearing is set for Sept. 22.

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