McElroy trial begins Tuesday

The trial of a man accused of shooting a Fort Dodge teen at a bonfire party, who later died from his injuries, will begin Tuesday in Fort Dodge.

Derrick McElroy, 28, of Fort Dodge, is facing a first-degree murder charge in connection with the death of Brandyn Preston.

His trial is scheduled to begin with jury selection at the Webster County Courthouse on Tuesday.

McElroy has been held in the Webster County Jail on $1 million cash bond since his arrest on July 12, 2012.

He is accused of shooting Preston, 19, of Fort Dodge, on May 8, 2011, which was Mother’s Day.

Preston was shot in the neck at a bonfire party at 1101 10th Ave. S.W.

He was originally taken to Trinity Regional Medical Center before being transferred to Iowa Methodist Medical Center in Des Moines.

Preston was left paralyzed from the shoulders down as a result of the shooting.

After his release from the hospital in June 2011, Preston moved in with his mother, Kimberly Susan Wood, in Tampa, Fla.

He lived there until his death on Jan. 22, 2012. He was 20 years old.

Fort Dodge police said Preston died as a result of the shooting.

Six months after Preston’s death, McElroy was arrested and charged with first-degree murder.

He pleaded not guilty in early August 2012 and initially had his trial set for Sept. 25, 2012. It was later moved back after McElroy waived his right to a speedy trial.

It was continued two more times before its final trial date of Tuesday was set.

If convicted of first-degree murder, McElroy faces a mandatory sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole.