Judge denies change of venue request for Palo man charged with murder

Published: Oct. 5, 2022 at 4:36 PM CDT
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BENTON COUNTY, Iowa (KCRG) - A judge has denied the motion of one of the two persons accused of killing a Palo woman back in July that his trial be moved to another location.

Samantha Bevans and Tacoa Talley are both charged with killing Jodie Bevans. Investigators said Jodie Bevans was found unresponsive at a home in the 3300 block of 64th Street in Palo.

In a criminal complaint, officials said Samantha Bevans had made threats to harm Jodie, who was her stepmother. Investigators said they also found a note, written by Samantha, that listed for Thursday to, “Kill Jodie.”

The criminal complaint also said Samantha admitted to police that she killed Jodie with an accomplice on July 14. Officials reported that a search warrant return on Snap Chat also revealed Samantha had created a video in which she admitted to planning the killing. Witnesses also told law enforcement they had overheard Samantha describing the killing, with Jodie having been choked and suffocated with a pillow.

Police charged Samantha and Tacoa with Murder in the First Degree. Both have pled not guilty.

Talley’s lawyers requested the change of venue citing a “degree of prejudice exists in the county” that could impede a “fair and impartial trial.”

On October 3rd, a judge ruled that a person’s “knowledge of the case does not equate to proof of a substantial likelihood of prejudice” and that the defense could renew the motion only if a fair and impartial jury selection could not be established.

Talley’s trial is currently scheduled to take place on November 7th, 2022.