The Norwalk man suspected of murdering Roseanna Otto last week has a  preliminary hearing set for June 10 at 3:30 p.m. at the Madison County Courthouse. He also faces additional charges out of Dubuque County, where he was arrested.

Jerome “Jerry” 25, Moyer, of Norwalk, was arrested and charged with first-degree murder in the death of Otto, according to a press release issued last week from the Winterset Police Department. First-degree murder is a Class A felony  in Iowa and is punishable by life in prison. According to those in the community who knew Otto, Moyer was her estranged boyfriend. 

Moyer was arrested by Dubuque County sheriff’s deputies and was held at Dubuque County until May 30, when he was extradited and booked into the Madison County Jail at 5:30 p.m. According to jail officials, he is being held without bond until his arraignment, which has not yet been set.

According to Madison County Attorney Matt Schultz, though the preliminary hearing is set for Monday, he said his office “will most likely file a trial information or the defendant could choose to waive the preliminary hearing.” If either occurs, this would cancel the preliminary hearing for June 10 and a new court appearance, most likely for an arraignment, will be scheduled.

Madison County 911 received a call of an unresponsive female at a residence on East Lane Street in Winterset on Monday, May 27, at 11:09 p.m. Responding Winterset police officers found 23-year-old Rosanna Otto deceased inside the home from an apparent gunshot wound.

Otto shared the home with her three children, ages 2, 4 and 6. Official details of who made the 911 call have not yet been released. Family members stated that the children were asleep in the other room, when Otto was shot. 

Roseanna Otto’s father allegedly found his daughter shortly after the shooting occurred and got the children out of the home, before calling law enforcement.

The Winterset Police Department and the Division of Criminal Investigation quickly identified Moyer as a suspect and put out an alert for his vehicle. Moyer was arrested without incident by the Dubuque County Sheriff’s Office following a traffic stop. According to Special Agent in Charge Dan DeCamp, Moyer faces the additional charge of operating while intoxicated (OWI) by Dubuque County authorities. 

According to authorities, the investigation remains ongoing and will do so until the trial date.

Benefit dinner held at Pizza Ranch

The community came together on Monday, June 3, to attend a benefit fundraiser for the family of Roseanna Otto, who was murdered in her Winterset home last week. 

Half of the proceeds from the day went to the family, and tip jars were placed out and will remain out all week, according to Pizza Ranch Manager Russ Weis, who said that Otto used to work there. 

“We just want to do what we can for the family, especially her three children during this terrible time,” Weis said. 

A GoFundMe is also set up at www.gofundme.com/roseanna-otto-memorial-fund. A memorial fund has also been set up at all Banker’s Trust locations under the name Roseanna Otto.

Managing Editor at the Winterset Madisonian.