BY CHUCK VANDENBERG
KEOKUK – Prosecutors learned Wednesday that a verdict could be handed down as soon as Thursday afternoon in the case of a 25-year-old Fort Madison man charged with 1st-degree murder.
Chief Judge Mary Ann Brown of District 8B took the case last Thursday in the South Lee County Courthouse in Keokuk, after one and half days of testimony in the case of Adam Golden McCain, who was staying with family on the west side of Fort Madison.
McCain is charged in the death of CaLove Sackman, then 27, in Keokuk. The two had been in a relationship and have one daughter together.
Sackman was found by Nadene Sestito, a passerby, at about 10 p.m. on Feb. 5 of this year. Sackman had pulled herself onto the sidewalk on the north side of River City Mall’s parking lot in the 200 block of Main Street in Keokuk.
Sackman had been stabbed multiple times in the front and back of her torso and on her hands. Prosecutors showed that Sackman and McCain were having an argument in a vehicle that night after McCain drove down from Fort Madison during a night of freezing rain and picked Sackman up at her home on Concert Street.
According to testimony, the two began arguing and Sackman tried to get out of McCain’s white Monte Carlo, when he pulled her back in and stabbed her with a butterfly knife. The girl was able to get out of the vehicle, but McCain then drove around to where she was on the ground, got out and stabbed her again repeatedly.
Prosecutors then tried to paint a picture, including using video, of McCain trying to run into her on the sidewalk with the car, but Dr. Dennis Firchau, a forensic pathologist with University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, said no injuries supported that claim.
McCain’s trial originally began as a jury trial, but three hours into jury selection, McCain and his legal team of Kendra Abfalter and Joseph Beres, both of Burlington, decided a bench trial would be in McCain’s best interests.
Testimony began last Tuesday, Oct. 15 and wrapped up on Wednesday when the prosecution rested its case and the defense only called McCain to the stand for about 5 minutes before closing arguments. Beres’ focus during his argument was that McCain was acting in a child-like manner and didn’t have premeditation in the killing, which could trigger a conviction of 2nd-degree murder.
In Iowa 1st-degree murder carries a penalty of life imprisonment with no chance for parole. Second-degree murder is a 35-year minimum prison sentence.