Bloomfield trial rescheduled for 2015

Minnesota man accused of killing wife in 1997

By Lee Hermiston, The Gazette

John Bloomfield will not go to trial until next year.

Bloomfield, 73, accused of killing his wife in 1997, is scheduled to go to trial Jan. 27, 2015. His final pretrial conference is scheduled for Jan. 16, 2015.

While rescheduling trials is common, this particular case is complicated by the fact that Bloomfield’s attorney indicated in February his client might have less than a year to live because of various ailments.

Bloomfield is accused of killing his wife — 57-year-old Frances Bloomfield — at the couple’s home in Iowa City. She was reported missing by her husband, then a researcher at the University of Iowa, on Sept. 22, 1997. Three days later, Winnebago County, Ill. authorities found a body bound with pantyhose and wrapped in plastic and duct tape in a ditch near Rockford.

Authorities believed Frances Bloomfield had been strangled in her Iowa City home. Court documents released in 1997 revealed investigators who responded to the Bloomfield home found blood stains in two bedrooms on the second floor of the home, as well as a mark that indicated Frances Bloomfield was dragged through the hallway. Her car later was discovered at Newark, N.J., International Airport.

John Bloomfield told authorities he was in the Chicago area returning from a business trip at the time of his wife’s death. However, police said Bloomfield was unable to sufficiently account for the time when he would have been driving. Authorities now say they have DNA and hair evidence connecting Bloomfield to the murder.

Bloomfield moved from Iowa City shortly after his wife’s death and had been living in St. Paul, Minn. before being arrested last November. Earlier this year, Bloomfield successfully petitioned to be placed on house arrest back in St. Paul so he could be closer to his health care team.

Leon Spies, Bloomfield’s attorney, said at a hearing in February that his client’s health is deteriorating and he is suffering from metastatic prostate cancer, which has spread to his ribs, vertebrae and lymph nodes. He also suffers from diabetes, carpal tunnel syndrome, a sleep disorder and fatigue.

Spies requested the trial be pushed back last month after noting he had an “enormous” amount of discovery and investigation left to do in order to prepare for the trial. Spies also said Bloomfield’s health made trial preparation difficult.

l Comments: (319) 398-8238; lee.hermiston@sourcemedia.net

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