Mason City man sentenced to 50 years in prison for killing woman, setting her body on fire

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(ABC 6 News) – A Mason City man convicted of killing a woman and setting her body on fire in September 2021, was sentenced in Cerro Gordo County court on Monday.

Dominick Degner, 29, was sentenced to 50 years in prison, nearly two years after the murder of 24-year-old, Tonette Wolfe. On May 31, Degner entered an Alford Plea to 2nd-degree murder. He was originally charged with 1st-degree murder as well as 2nd-degree arson.

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According to police, on September 7th, 2021, fire crews were called to the 100 block of North Tennessee Ave for a house fire just after 5:00 a.m.

After the fire was put out, a woman’s body was found in the home later identified as Wolfe. Police said Wolfe and Degner had been living at the home.

During Degners’ sentencing on Monday, he didn’t have much to say to the victims’ family other than that he was sorry, but doesn’t expect forgiveness. Meanwhile, Tonette’s family, just shook their heads in response.

He also did not display any emotion during the sentencing.

The judge told Degner that his actions were nothing short of “heinous”.

Tonette’s family, also not having a lot to say to the man who killed the woman they loved.

“You said you would treat my daughter, Toni, like you would want someone to treat your daughter. Is this how you want someone to treat your daughter? To take their life? I don’t think so. That’s all I need to say,” said Laura Snyder, the biological mother of Tonette.

Tonette’s adoptive parents couldn’t bring themselves to the courtroom, but echoed a similar message read by an advocate for the City’s Crisis Intervention Center.

“Toni was such a joyful child. Always headstrong but a pleasure to be around and with. Always had a smile on her face,” read a statement from Tonette’s adoptive mother Linda. “I feel so bad that she couldn’t reach out to me sooner before you decided to take her life away from us.”

Degner has also been ordered to pay $150,000 in restitution to the adopting parents, Linda and Jerry Wolfe, for the heartache he’s brought to their family.