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Dubuque man pleads not guilty to murder, sex assault charges in slaying of 66-year-old woman


DUBUQUE, Iowa — A 19-year-old man accused of sexually assaulting and beating to death a 66-year-old church secretary has pleaded not guilty.

Written pleas were entered Friday for Helmon Betwell, whose arraignment had been scheduled for Monday. His trial is scheduled to begin Dec. 1.

Betwell is charged with first-degree murder and first-degree sexual assault for the Sept. 1 death of Nancy Krapfl, of Dubuque. Both charges carry maximum sentences of life in prison upon conviction. Betwell also is charged with two counts of third-degree burglary.

Police say Betwell attacked Krapfl early Sept. 1 while she was out walking.

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