Woman found guilty, man sentenced to prison for Iowa killing

June 22, 2022 GMT

SPIRIT LAKE, Iowa (AP) — An Iowa woman faces a mandatory sentence of life in prison after being found guilty of first-degree murder for the strangulation death of another woman nearly two years ago in her Lake Park home.

A judge found 27-year-old Allison Decker, 27, of Sioux City, guilty Tuesday of the murder charge, as well as theft and conspiracy to commit theft in the death of 25-year-old Angel Bastman, the Sioux City Journal reported. Decker’s codefendant, 25-year-old Justice Berntson, also was sentenced Tuesday to 25 years in prison for attempted murder in Bastman’s death.

Bastman’s body was found in her home on Dec. 22, 2020. She had been strangled with a belt.

Investigators said Berntson and Bastman had been doing heroin together and argued the day before her body was found. The argument led to a fight between Decker and Bastman, and prosecutors said Decker strangled Bastman with the belt. Officials said Bernston did nothing to stop it.

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After Bastman was killed, investigators said, Berntson and Decker stole electronics and other household and personal items from the house. Police spotted Berntson driving Bastman’s missing rental car in Sioux City four days after her body was found, and he was arrested after a police chase led to him crashing the car.