Mash found guilty of first-degree murder in slaying of nephew

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A roadside memorial to Jakob Mash is tended at 258th Street and K Avenue in rural Adel.


Mark Mash of rural Adel was found guilty Wednesday of first-degree murder in connection with the Dec. 22, 2020, shooting death of his nephew, Jakob Mash, 20, of Perry.

The jury, composed of nine females and three males, returned the verdict after deliberating about four hours.

The trial began Monday, Aug. 9, presided over by Dallas County District Court Judge Michael K. Jacobsen. Mash was defended by attorneys Natasha O’Hollearn and Brittany Hedstrom of the State Public Defender Office in Des Moines. Dallas County Attorney Chuck Sinnard and Assistant County Attorney Erica Clark represented the state.

O’Hollearn and Hedstrom attempted to persuade the jury that Mark Mash acted in self-defense about 1:20 a.m. on Dec. 22, when he fired his rifle in the direction of a Pontiac Grand Prix in which Jakob Mash was a passenger and Jackson Sheehy was the driver.

A bullet fired from Sheehy’s passing vehicle shattered the windows of a Chevrolet Tahoe on the property of Mark Mash, who returned fire, killing his nephew with a single .22 caliber rifle shot to the head.

Sinnard and Clark persuaded the jury that Mark Mash murdered Jakob Mash willfully, deliberately and with premeditation and malice aforethought.

“He had murder on the mind,” Sinnard said in his closing statement. The jury appeared to agree.

In making their cases, both the prosecution and defense drew upon a large amount of evidence in the form of electronic communications — phone calls, text messages, instant messages — as well as GPS location data, all collected from cell phones.

The state called about 20 witnesses in the course of the 10-day trial. The defense relied primarily on the testimony of the defendant.

Mash is scheduled for sentencing Oct. 1. The penalty for first-degree murder in Iowa — a class A felony — is life in prison without the possibility of parole.

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