Jury seated in Levin trial Monday


Opening statements are expected today in the murder trial of Kirk R. Levin.

Levin, 21, of Early. has been charged with first-degree murder and third-degree kidnapping. He is accused of killing his mother, Marilyn Schmitt, at her Early farmhouse.

He has pleaded not guilty in the case, which was moved to Webster County late last month.

On Jan. 3, Levin allegedly stabbed and choked Schmitt to death at 2242 Ira Ave. in Early. Her body was found while investigators were looking for information in another case Levin has been charged with.

Hours after the alleged murder, Levin is accused of going to Storm Lake and asking a 21-year-old woman to give him a ride. According to court documents, she agreed, but at one point Levin allegedly refused to let the woman leave and told her she was being kidnapped.

She eventually got away and alerted Sac County deputies.

Levin’s trial was originally scheduled for April 10 in Sac City, but it was moved after Levin waived his right to a speedy trial in March.

About 60 men and women reported for jury selection at the Webster County courthouse Monday, where about 40 of them were questioned by Assistant Iowa Attorney General Doug Hammerand and Levin’s attorney, Charles Kenville.

Potential jurors were asked about their knowledge of the case, whether or not they could keep an open mind and judge only on the evidence presented, and any connections they may have had with Levin or anybody else connected with the case.

The jury was seated around 3:45 p.m.

After taking their oath, Judge Timothy Finn, of the 2nd Judicial District, allowed the jurors to go home for the evening. Before allowing them to go, he told them they are not to discuss the case with anybody.

He also asked that jurors take everything into consideration.

“You won’t have a transcript in front of you, so you’ll have to pay attention,” Finn said. “Keep an open mind until you hear the case and all the evidence presented.”

Finn said there is a 50 percent chance the trial will be done by Friday, and a 25 percent chance it will be done before then.