Culver Signs Bill Sparked by Coach Killing

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By Becky Ogann

DES MOINES (AP) - Iowa Gov. Chet Culver has signed a bill into law that would require hospitals to notify police when releasing someone with an outstanding warrant.

The legislation was sparked by the killing of Aplington-Parkersburg High School football coach Ed Thomas. He was shot to death last June by former player Mark Becker, who had been released from the mental health unit of a Waterloo hospital a day before the killing.

The 24-year-old Becker was convicted earlier this month of first-degree murder.

Culver signed the bill Wednesday at a ceremony attended by Thomas' family, who had encouraged legislators to support the measure.

Hospitals could be fined $1,000 for the first violation of the rule and $2,000 for an additional violation.

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