Mason City man’s murder, arson trial delayed until June

MASON CITY — The man charged with murder and arson after a fire at a Mason City residence last year has waived his right to a speedy trial and has had his trial moved from later this month to the middle of next year.

Mason City police arrested 28-year-old Dominick Degner on December 17th. Firefighters responded to 123 North Tennessee Avenue on the morning of September 7th last year and later found 24-year-old Tonette Wolfe dead in the home that the two shared.

A criminal complaint filed in Cerro Gordo County District Court says Degner caused fatal injuries to Wolfe including blunt force trauma, a broken rib, punctured lung and a partially broken hyoid bone. Degner is then accused of setting fire to the victim’s body and the house in an attempt to conceal the crime.

Degner has pleaded not guilty to charges of first-degree murder and second-degree arson. His trial was scheduled to start on Monday, but Degner on Wednesday filed a waiver of his right to a speedy trial for one year and requested a continuance to allow his attorney to proceed with further depositions and investigation into the case.

District Judge Gregg Rosenbladt approved the motions on Wednesday and scheduled Degner’s trial for June 5th of next year.

If convicted of first-degree murder, Degner would face a mandatory sentence of life in prison without the opportunity for parole. Second-degree arson is a Class C felony, punishable by up to 10 years in prison.

Degner continues to be held in the Cerro Gordo County Jail on $1 million bond.