Judge Approves Motion for Records in Ed Thomas Murder

Mark Becker, 24, of Parkersburg, has been charged with first degree murder in the shooting death of Ed Thomas.

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By Becky Ogann

ALLISON (AP) - A judge has approved a motion seeking access to mental health or substance abuse committal files of the man accused of gunning down an Iowa high school football coach.

In an order filed on Friday in Butler County, Judge Stephen Carroll granted a motion by Mark Becker's attorney to unseal and open the files. The order allows only defense attorneys and prosecutors access to the files.

The judge's order follows a hearing on July 29.

Becker is charged with first-degree murder in the June 24 slaying of Aplington-Parkersburg High School coach Ed Thomas in the school's weight room.

Defense attorney Susan Flander has said Becker will use a defense of insanity or diminished responsibility.

Becker's trial is set for Sept. 15 in Butler County.

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