Jury begins deliberating in Levin trial

Kirk Levin’s fate is in the hands of a Webster County jury after both sides finished their closing arguments shortly before noon Thursday.

Levin is accused of killing his mother, Marilyn Schmitt, and kidnapping Jessica Vega, 21.

In closing arguments, Levin’s attorney, Charles Kenville, of Fort Dodge, asked jurors to find his client guilty of second-degree murder.

“We’re here not just because the defendant killed is mother,” Kenville said. “We’re here to determine the level of the offense. Just because he killed her does not mean it’s murder in the first degree.”

Kenville argued that state failed to prove the crime was premeditated.

Assistant Iowa Attorney General Doug Hammerand disagreed.

“This wasn’t a woman who slipped and fell down the steps and broke her neck,” he said. “She didn’t fall on a knife and cut herself by accident. She didn’t strangle herself by accident. It was an intentional act.”