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Fort Dodge man convicted in 2019 fatal beating of pastor

DAVENPORT, Iowa (AP) — A 37-year-old Fort Dodge man has been convicted of fatally beating a pastor outside of his church. 

Joshua Pendleton was convicted Tuesday of first-degree murder and robbery in the October 2019 killing of the Rev. Allen Henderson in Fort Dodge. He is scheduled to be sentenced June 18 and faces a mandatory term of life in prison without the possibility of parole. 

Police said Pendleton attacked Henderson after the 64-year-old pastor tried to stop him from entering the St. Paul Lutheran Church. 

According to court documents, Pendleton told police he heard a girl screaming in the church and thought Henderson was assaulting her. 

The trial was delayed after Pendleton was found to be not competent to stand trial in February 2020. Authorities and his family said Pendleton is schizophrenic.

Last June, Pendleton was ordered to stand trial after a psychiatrist at the Iowa Medical Classification Center in Coralville deemed him “restored to competency,”

Pendleton’s trial was moved from Webster County to Davenport because of the extensive publicity surrounding the case.

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