Mason City man’s murder, arson trial set to start next week after motion for delay denied

MASON CITY — A motion to delay the murder and arson trial of a Mason City man scheduled for next week has been denied.

28-year-old Dominick Degner was charged with first-degree murder and second-degree arson in the September 7th 2021 death of 24-year-old Tonette Wolfe.

Wolfe was found dead in the burned-out home the two shared at 123 North Tennessee Avenue. 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’s attorneys had filed a motion to delay his trial that’s scheduled to start next week in Cerro Gordo County District Court, stating that depositions for the case were only recently completed and they needed to continue to investigate.

District Judge Gregg Rosenbladt in an order issued on Friday denied the delay, saying that he did not find good cause for a continuance and that the trial likely could not be reset until March 2024.

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.