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Omaha man accused of vehicular homicide in Mason City store parking lot waives right to speedy trial, trial delayed from next week to January

MASON CITY — An Omaha man accused of vehicular homicide after hitting a pedestrian with his vehicle in a Mason City store parking lot was scheduled to be tried next week, but he’s now waived his right to a speedy trial and had his trial delayed until next year.

Mason City police were called to the Mills Fleet Farm parking lot on the afternoon of June 8th on the report of a pedestrian/vehicle crash. The pedestrian, 62-year-old Dawn Merrick of Mason City, was transported to MercyOne North Iowa Medical Center where  she died on June 10th as a result of injuries sustained in the accident.

35-year-old Christopher Rathfon of Omaha was arrested at the time of the crash and charged with serious injury by vehicle, operating while intoxicated and reckless driving, but those charges were upgraded to vehicular homicide while operating under the influence on June 14th.

Rathfon was scheduled to have his trial start on Tuesday in Cerro Gordo County District Court. His attorney on Wednesday filed a waiver of speedy trial along with a motion for a continuance in the case. District Judge Christopher Foy approved the motion and rescheduled Rathfon’s trial for January 25th.

If convicted of vehicular homicide, a Class B felony, Rathfon would face up to 25 years in prison.



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