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Iowa man charged with attempted murder in suffocation death

September 15, 2021 GMT

BETTENDORF, Iowa (AP) — A man accused of suffocating his brother to death was charged Tuesday with attempted murder.

An arrest affidavit alleges Todd Alan Laing Sr. of Bettendorf, Iowa, put his hands over his brother’s mouth on Nov. 11, expecting and intending to cause his death, the Quad-City Times reported.

The attack was witnessed by a family member, and Laing admitted to others that he had put his hands over his brother’s mouth, according to the affidavit.

Scott County First Assistant Attorney Amy DeVine said Laing wasn’t charged with murder because those charges require the perpetrator to have had “malice aforethought” and state prosecutors didn’t feel they could prove such malice. A charge of attempted murder doesn’t have the same requirement.


Prosecutors also couldn’t charge Laing with voluntary manslaughter because that requires some sort of instigator that would cause a reasonable person to react violently, and that didn’t occur in Laing’s case, DeVine said. Prosecutors didn’t want to charge him with anything less because the killing was done on purpose, she said.

Attempted murder is a felony punishable by up to 25 years in prison.