Plea hearing set for Ekstrom

A woman accused of killing a Fort Dodge man last summer is scheduled to plead guilty and be sentenced early next month.

Holly Ekstrom, 22, of Fort Dodge, is charged with first-degree murder for the July 2013 death of Steven Fisher, 22, of Fort Dodge.

Webster County Attorney Cori Kuhn Coleman declined to disclose terms of the plea agreement – including the exact charge to which Ekstrom will plead – but said Ekstrom will file a written plea and be sentenced on July 7.

The sentencing will be almost exactly one year after Fisher’s death.

On July 6, 2013, Fisher was killed in Fort Dodge after he was hit four times in the head with a hatchet by Ronald Dilley, who pleaded guilty to second-degree murder on April 4.

In his testimony, Dilley said Fisher made a comment that upset him, which led to Dilley hitting Fisher with the hatchet. Dilley then said he dumped Fisher’s body in an Otho ditch before abandoning Fisher’s pickup truck in Fort Dodge.

Fisher’s body was found by a farmer on July 10. Dilley and Ekstrom were arrested and charged with first-degree murder two days later.

Dilley is serving 50 years in prison for his role in the murder.

Ekstrom pleaded not guilty, and her trial was set for July 22.

Fisher, known to his family and friends as “Fish,” was reported missing by his employer, Liguria Foods, of Humboldt, on July 9, one day before his body was found.

A 2009 graduate of Fort Dodge Senior High, Fisher was also an aviation electronics technician with the Air National Guard, as well as a former newspaper carrier for The Messenger.