Man accused of attempted murder appears in court

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By Pat McTaggart

Brandon James Thoma, 25, of Pella, Iowa, was in the Clayton County Courthouse in Elkader, Iowa, for a hearing for an initial appearance on the charge of attempt to commit murder. Judge John Bauercamper informed Thoma, who has applied for a court appointed attorney, that his request will be forwarded to the Dubuque Public Defender’s Office.

Thoma is accused of breaking into a residence and assaulting the victim with the intent of murder. According to the complaint, Thoma first used pepper spray on the victim, followed by punching and kicking. He then threw the victim down the basement stairs, kicked the victim’s head and then used a shovel on the victim’s neck to try to cut off oxygen going to the brain.

When discovered, the victim was transported to the Central Community Hospital in Elkader and later transferred to the University of Iowa Hospital in Iowa City. Police found several items linking Thoma to the crime scene. He was located in Madison, and returned to Clayton County, where he was interviewed by law enforcement officials on Nov. 13.

Attempted murder is a class B felony that carries a mandatory maximum sentence not to exceed 25 years in prison. Judge Bauercamper set Thursday, Dec. 10, at 2 p.m., as the date to appear before a judicial magistrate for a preliminary hearing to determine further action. Thoma was then remanded to the Clayton County Sheriff’s Department with a bond set at $100,000.

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