People stream past a photo of Aplington-Parkersburg football coach Ed Thomas following a vigil at the field that bears his name at Aplington-Parkersburg High School in Parkersburg on Wednesday, June 24, 2009. (Cliff Jette/The Gazette)

The trial of Mark Becker began on Friday, February 12, 2010.


The final chapter of a saga that has gained national attention is expected to last two weeks.

Becker, 24, is being charged with first-degree murder in the shooting death of Aplington-Parkersburg High School football coach Ed Thomas. Becker is claiming insanity in his defense.


On June 24, 2009, Coach Ed Thomas was shot five times while supervising students in a morning workout in Parkersburg. Thomas won two state titles and saw four of his former players make it to the NFL in his 34 year career as coach of the Falcons.


His involvement in the schools, the church, and his work to help rebuild Parkersburg after a tornado ravaged the small Iowa town in 2008, endeared Thomas to people beyond Falcon Country.


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