crimesider

Accused Coach Killer Was In Custody Day Before Shooting

(AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)
Officer walks in front of the Iowa high school weight room building where football coach was shot.

PARKERSBURG, Iowa (CBS/AP) A 24-year-old former high school football player accused of killing an Iowa coach was released from a psychiatric ward a day before the shooting.

Mark Becker was arrested Saturday after allegedly threatening a Cedar Falls homeowner with a bat and leading police on a high-speed car chase, police say.

An Iowa hospital says it treated the 24-year-old man brought in by law enforcement officials and released him shortly before he allegedly gunned down his former Aplington-Parkersburg High School football coach, Ed Thomas.

Cedar Falls police say they asked to be notified when Becker could leave the hospital. But Covenant Medical Center in Waterloo said in a statement Thursday that its staff was not asked to notify authorities before releasing Becker.

The hospital did not say what days it treated Becker, but state officials have said he was released Tuesday.

Becker is charged with murdering Thomas on Wednesday.

Thomas, 58, died at a Waterloo hospital. His shooting stunned the rural community of 1,800 residents 80 miles northeast of Des Moines, and reverberated through NFL circles, where he was remembered as much for his faith as his winning record.

Becker has been moved from the Butler County jail to another jail about 40 miles northwest of Parkersburg, where the shooting took place. His bond has been set at $1 million.

PREVIOUSLY ON CRIMESIDER
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  • Edecio Martinez

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