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Suspect in killing of Ames woman pleads not guilty

April 13, 2021 GMT

AMES, Iowa (AP) — A man charged in the February killing an Ames woman has pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder and other charges in the case.

Richard Fleck, 33, submitted a written plea of not guilty on Monday, television station WOI reported.

Police in Des Moines arrested Fleck in March following an attack on a Des Moines woman who was hospitalized with serious facial injuries. After Fleck’s arrest, Des Moines police learned he was being sought for the death of Ranea Bell, who was found dead Feb. 20 in her Ames apartment by officers who had been sent to check on her welfare.

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Fleck is charged with first-degree murder and being a felon in possession of a gun, among other counts, in Bell’s death.

A pre-trial hearing for Fleck has been scheduled for June 1.