<
>

Ex-player pleads not guilty to killing coach

7/6/2009

PARKERSBURG, Iowa -- The man accused of killing an Iowa high school football coach has pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder.

Coach Ed Thomas was fatally shot on June 24 in a weight room in front of about 20 students at Aplington-Parkersburg High School in northeast Iowa.

Twenty-four-year-old Mark Becker, a former player, pleaded not guilty in a written plea on Thursday.

Online court records show that Becker demanded a speedy trial, which means he will have to stand trial within 90 days. No trial date was immediately set.

Becker remains in the Cerro Gordo County jail on $1 million cash bond.

Thomas coached for 34 years in the community about 80 miles northeast of Des Moines and had guided several players to the NFL.