Iowa man pleads not guilty to killing four people with a metal pipe earlier this month

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) — The Iowa man accused of killing four people with a metal pipe earlier this month has filed a written plea of not guilty to murder charges.

Luke Wade Truesdell, 34, filed his not guilty plea Tuesday to four counts of first-degree murder. A judge ordered him to return to court next Tuesday for an arraignment. No one answered at the Linn County public defender’s office Wednesday on the Juneteenth holiday.

The Linn County Sheriff’s Department has said that Truesdell, of Marion, attacked four people with a metal pipe on June 5 in an outbuilding at a rural Iowa home near Cedar Rapids. Three people died at the home. The fourth person, 34-year-old Brent Anthony Brown, died two days later.

The other victims have been identified as 44-year-old Romondus Lamar Cooper of Cedar Rapids, 26-year-old Keonna Victoria Ryan of Cedar Rapids and 33-year-old Amanda Sue Parker of Vinton.

Linn County Sheriff Brian Gardner has said that among the possible motives was that the crime might be made into a movie, but he didn’t elaborate and the sheriff and Linn County prosecutor haven’t been answering questions about the investigation.

The building where the victims were found is owned by Brown’s father. A friend of Parker’s, Amber Sangalli, told The Gazette in Cedar Rapids that Parker and her boyfriend, Cooper, had been evicted from their home last summer and started living in the outbuilding two months later. Brown was in a relationship with Ryan, according to his obituary.

Sangalli said she didn’t know of any connection between Truesdell and the victims.