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Man Charged in Iowa Hatchet Death Pleads Guilty

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FORT DODGE, Iowa (AP) - A Fort Dodge man accused of using a hatchet to kill another man has pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of second-degree murder.

Twenty-nine-year-old Ronald Dilley had been charged with first-degree murder in the death of 22-year-old Steven Fisher, whose decomposed remains were found by an Otho farmer in a ditch on July 10.

Dilley and 23-year-old Holly Ekstrom, of Fort Dodge, were charged in Fisher's death. Ekstrom has pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder and is set to stand trial July 22.

The Fort Dodge Messenger reports that Dilley told a judge Friday he hit Fisher four times in the head with a hatchet after Fisher made a comment that upset Dilley.

Dilley faces up to 50 years in prison when he's sentenced May 5.