Britt man accused in fatal stabbing set to stand trial

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(ABC 6 News) – A Britt, Iowa man accused in the fatal stabbing of a woman in early March is scheduled to stand trial.

Monte Wayne Eckels, 56, has pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder. He’s accused of stabbing 62-year-old Leallen Bergman of Ventura, to death on March 4.

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Britt Police Chief Mark Anderson said officers initially responded to a disturbance call on the 200 block of 4th St. SE in Britt, and encountered Eckels who was “hostile with responding officers and detained.”

When officers entered the residence, they found Bergman who was pronounced dead from stab wounds.

Eckels’ criminal complaint claims the suspect “willfully, deliberately, and with premeditation” stabbed Bergman with a serrated silver knife, listed as having been in on display or in Eckels’ possession.

A Hancock County Court ordered Eckels to complete a mental examination which he cleared.

A jury trial is scheduled to begin on Sept. 20.