Fort Dodge father charged with killing baby has trial venue changed

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(ABC 6 News) – A Fort Dodge, Iowa man charged with killing his newborn baby is having his trial moved.

Brandon Thoma, 31, and Taylor Blaha, 24, were charged with first-degree murder of their newborn baby in December.

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A judge agreed to move Thoma’s trial to Davenport, Iowa. Thoma’s defense says he would not be able to get a fair trial in Webster County. He is set to go before a jury on Aug. 8.

Meanwhile, Blaha’s trial is scheduled to start in September in Webster County.

Court documents said Blaha gave birth to their baby in the bathroom of their apartment in November. Blaha said they planned to give the baby to her sister to adopt, but grew fearful the baby’s cries would draw the attention of neighbors and police, so they held the baby underwater in the bathtub until she drowned. Thoma then placed the baby’s body in a plastic storage container, wrapped the container in trash bags and carried it out of the apartment in a backpack.

Court documents said Thoma, who admitted to drowning the baby, said he feared police would discover meth in its system and take the couples 2-year-old child from them.

Law enforcement said text messages between Blaha and Thoma revealed that Thoma had discarded the baby’s body in a wooded area, but a search there turned up nothing. Thoma also led police to an area where he said he had buried the baby, but extensive excavation also turned up nothing. Police have also searched an area landfill, but have been unable to find the remains.

Thoma is also charged with abuse of a corpse.