DAY FOUR: Murder trial for Dubuque County man

Day Four In Court

JACKSON COUNTY, Iowa (KWWL) — UPDATE: Day four of a murder trial has been postponed for a Dubuque County man accused of 1st degree murder.

According to the Jackson County Clerk of Courts office today’s proceedings have been postponed until Friday due to road conditions.

Day Three In Court

JACKSON COUNTY, Iowa (KWWL) — UPDATE: A murder trial for a Dubuque man has now entered it’s third day.

23-year-old Drew Mangler is accused of 1st-degree-murder in the 2016 slaying of 59-year-old James Remakel.

The trial was delayed until 10 a.m. due to road conditions. Today is expected to begin with opening statements, as jury selection ran long on Tuesday.

Assistant Attorney General, Andrew Prosser began the opening statements by broadly connecting the dots to Mangler’s involvement. The defense declined their opening statement.

The state brought several witnesses to the stand including Richard Steines, a man who knew Remakel since he was young and occasionally helped him out around his home. Steines found Remakel’s lifeless body on Christmas day back in 2016.

The state then called its next witness to the stand, a DCI agent, Sabrina Seehafer. Seehafer walked the jury through the crime scene and evidence found in Remakel’s home.

The DCI agent even brought out the black, polo shoes that were found in Mangler’s possession that contained blood stains which matched Remakel’s DNA. The state explained to the jury that this DNA evidence on the shoes places Mangler at the scene of the crime.

The defense questioned Seehafer about the DNA on the shoes, pointing out that there is no time stamp on when the blood would have gotten on the shoes. The defense also pointed out that Mangler’s DNA was not found in Remakel’s home or at the crime scene.

The state plans to continue calling witnesses to the stand Thursday. The defense is expected to call their own witnesses on Friday.

Stay with KWWL as we continue to provide court updates throughout the day.

Day Two In Court

JACKSON COUNTY, Iowa (KWWL) — Day two of a trial is underway for a Dubuque County man accused of 1st degree murder.

23-year-old Drew Mangler is being charged for the 2016 slaying of 59-year-old James Remakel.

Remakel was found by police in a Bellevue house on December 25th, 2016. An autopsy showed Remakel had been stabbed 33 times.

The trial got underway Monday morning. The defense and prosecution began the tedious process of selecting an unbiased jury. They spent much of the day Tuesday, narrowing down that jury pool and preparing them to see autopsy photos.

On Christmas Day in 2016, the body of James Remakel was found dead in his home, murdered. That crime going unsolved for months as police investigated, working to connect the dots.

At the time KWWL spoke to neighbors who worked next door who were in disbelief.

“I was shocked, and nervous, because I work here and it’s just crazy to think that it happened right next door to where we work,” said Tara Linden.

In December 2017, around the year anniversary of his death KWWL interviewed Remakel’s nephew who told us he was a quiet man who loved to fish but kept to himself. The family desperate for answers.

“I just want to know why, why it had to happen. James was a guy that a lot of people probably wouldn’t agree with his lifestyle, or the way he lived or the way he chose to live. But he loved life, and he didn’t want to die. He enjoyed what he did,” said family member, Jeff Remakel.

At the time, police said Remakel’s home had been broken into and he was found with multiple sharp force wounds. We later learned from an autopsy report he was stabbed 33 times.

It wasn’t until May of 2018 Drew Mangler was arrested, charged with 1st-degree-murder.

Jury selection wrapped up today and tomorrow. They are expected to hear opening statements from both the prosecution and defense, weather permitting.

If convicted a first degree murder charges carries a maximum sentence of life in prison without parole.


Ashley Neighbor

Ashley Neighbor

Reporter, Cedar Rapids
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