BREAKING NEWS: Williams gets life for Lu Verne shooting

Family members of Jessica Weishaar (left) grieved her loss during victim impact statements Friday in Kossuth County District Court during the plea and sentencing hearing for Valentino Williams (right) of Coalville. Williams pleaded guilty to murdering Weishaar during a bank robbery attempt at the Security State Bank in Lu Verne in early December. He was sentenced to life in prison without parole.

A Coralville man was sentenced to life in prison without parole Friday morning in Kossuth County District Court after changing his plea in the shooting death of Jessica Weishaar, 43, of Algona.
Weishaar was employed by the Security State Bank in Algona and was the substitute teller on duty at the bank’s branch office in Lu Verne the morning of Wednesday, Dec. 4, 2019.
Around 8:30 a.m. that morning, Valentino Williams, 36, of Coralville arrived at the bank, robbed the bank of cash and shot Weishaar outside the bank three times. She died at the scene from her wounds.
Witnesses reported that a black SUV driven by a black male involved in the shooting headed east out of Lu Verne. Law enforcement authorities in neighboring towns reported several reports of a dark colored SUV or Crossover vehicle traveling east away from Lu Verne.
At 9:38 a.m., Iowa Department of Transportation (DOT) motor vehicle enforcement offices, Iowa State Patrol, Iowa Department of Criminal Investigation (DCI) agents and sheriff’s deputies made a traffic stop near mile marker 158 of the northbound lane of Interstate 35. A black SUV with no front license plate that matched the description of the vehicle was stopped. The vehicle was a Mazda CX-5 with a rear Michigan license plate. The vehicle was driven by Williams. Law enforcement found several articles of clothing and personal items related to the crime on rural roads in Hancock County.
Williams originally pleaded not guilty but under a plea agreement, changed his plea to guilty on the first degree felony murder charge. The court reports that Williams waives his right to an appeal. A charge of attempted robbery was dismissed.
In addition to the life sentence, Williams was ordered to pay Weishaar’s family $150,000.
Judge Nancy Whittenburg passed down the sentence and said there was absolutely no reason for Williams’ violent action, saying it defies explanation and understanding.
Weishaar’s husband and adult son did not offer a victim impact statement at the sentencing. Weishaar’s mother, Marilyn Reese, said her daughter was a person who spent her life caring for others and making sure they were happy and loved.
Weishaar’s sister, Melanie Onken, said Williams robbed her family of a future life with her sister because of the choices he made that morning.
Trevor Reese, Weishaar’s brother, told Williams that he was scum of the earth and he hoped that he burned in hell.
Williams did not offer a statement at the sentencing. He had several prior convictions for robbery and theft in Scott and Johnson counties. He was on parole at the time of the felony crimes in Lu Verne.

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