UPDATE: Man charged with 1st-degree murder in Iowa pleads not guilty, pretrial scheduled
(ABC 6 News) – Roger Laverne Crews Jr., 56, pleaded not guilty to the 1st-degree murder of his wife, 56-year-old Karen Abby Crews, on Nov. 17.
A pretrial hearing is scheduled for Jan. 9, 2024, followed by a jury trial beginning Jan. 24.
(ABC 6 News) – UPDATE: A man arrested in Freeborn County was officially charged with 1st-degree murder Monday, Oct. 30.
According to Iowa court documents, Roger Laverne Crews Jr., 56, is accused of killing his wife, 56-year-old Karen Abby Crews inside her home in Woden “willfully, deliberately, with premeditation, and with malice aforethought.”
“The Defendant made admissions to engaging in a conflict and assaulting Karen Abby Crews while inside the residence of 633 Way Avenue in Woden, Hancock County, Iowa. Also, the Defendant informed law enforcement that they (law enforcement) would need to conduct a welfare check on Karen Abby Crews at the aforementioned residence due to her potential condition,” charging documents filed Monday read.
Crews Jr. is scheduled to appear again in Hancock County Court Nov. 9.
(ABC 6 News) – A Hancock County woman was found dead inside her home Saturday morning, prompting an immediate homicide investigation.
ABC 6 News has learned that the man arrested in connection to the murder is also the same person who told law enforcement to check on the woman in the first place.
Around 11:11 a.m. Saturday, Hancock County Sheriff’s Office deputies responded to the 600 block of Way Ave. in Woden, Iowa for a welfare check.
Once inside, deputies found 56-year-old Karen Crews unresponsive and she was pronounced dead.
Investigators with the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation say that the welfare check started after Crews’ estranged husband, 56-year-old Roger Crews, walked into the Freeborn County Sheriff’s Office in Minn. to request one.
Freeborn County is about an hour north of Woden.
“Mr. Crews walked into the sheriff’s office in Freeborn County in Albert Lea, Minnesota, and self-reported what had happened,” said Mike Krapfl from the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation.
Sgt. Krapfl says that is when the investigation began.
A few hours later around 8:30 p.m., Roger Crews was arrested for first-degree murder at the Freeborn County Sheriff’s Office without incident.
According to a press release, Roger and Karen had been separated and were living apart.
This investigation is being conducted by the Hancock County Sheriff’s Office and the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation.
The Iowa State Patrol, Winnebago County Sheriff’s Office, Lake Mills Police Dept., Freeborn County Sheriff’s Office, Albert Lea Police Dept., and Hancock County Medical Examiner’s Office are also assisting in the investigation.