After failing to appear in court yesterday to hear a jury find him guilty of killing his wife, a convicted Iowa murderer is on the run this Saturday, according to authorities.
The judge had previously released Gregory Showalter Sr., 63, of Ottumwa on bail in August 2021 after approving 10% of his $250,000 bond as long as he appeared in court and wore a GPS monitor.
According to Ottumwa authorities Lt. Jason Bell, when authorities arrived at Showalter’s residence in Ottumwa, they discovered a woman outside who identified herself as his buddy. She claimed that after giving her the keys to his car, Showalter “commented that he didn’t need those keys anymore.” She mistook him for someone who intended to walk to the courthouse, and she had no idea where he had gone.
According to the Iowa Department of Public Safety, Showalter, who is regarded as “armed and dangerous,” now has an arrest warrant for Failure to Appear – Murder in the First Degree.
“Showalter was not present when the jury found him guilty today, September 22, 2023, for the murder of his wife in August of 2021,” it said in a statement. “If you see Gregory Showalter Sr., or know of his whereabouts, please contact 911 or the Ottumwa Police Department.”
Showalter is described by authorities as being 160 pounds and 6 feet 2 inches tall.
According to the Ottumwa Courier, the prosecution said that Showalter lured her to a job site, killed her, and then dumped her body in the Des Moines River. Showalter and Helen were going through a divorce in 2021 after being married for more than 40 years.
According to the newspaper, Helen Showalter’s family reported her missing the following day, and a local discovered her body floating in the river.
The judge mandated that the verdict be read on Friday while officers looked for Showalter, citing Iowa court regulations for situations where a defendant is voluntarily absent. The jury declared Showalter responsible for first-degree murder, abuse of a body, malicious injury resulting in serious injury, and domestic violence assault by strangulation or obstruction of blood flow.
According to the Associated Press, before police discovered that Showalter had turned off both his GPS monitor and his cell phone, Showalter’s attorney claimed that he had called his client and instructed him to come to the Wapello County Courthouse on Friday to learn about his fate.
According to the Ottumwa Courier, a police canine tried to locate Showalter on Friday but was unsuccessful after following a smell to a motel a thousand feet from his house.
On October 16, a sentencing hearing will be held. A first-degree murder conviction in Iowa entails a mandatory sentence of life in prison without the chance of parole.