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John Bloomfield passes away before trial

BY NICK MOFFITT | NOVEMBER 11, 2014 5:00 AM

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A trial that would have taken place in January to determine whether former University of Iowa researcher John Bloomfield strangled wife Frances Bloomfield in 1997 will no longer take place; John Bloomfield was reported on Monday to have died.

Now that Bloomfield has died, Assistant County Attorney Anne Lahey said the case will be dismissed, as is protocol if the accused dies before trial.

Bloomfield attorney Leon Spies said he died at Fairview Riverside Hospital on Nov. 6 in Minneapolis.

Spies said Bloomfield was suffering from a variety of illnesses that ultimately led to his death, most notably prostate cancer, as well as diabetes and a heart ailment.

Court documents allege that Bloomfield “returned to his home from a business trip and struck his wife in the head and then strangled her with a ligature before wrapping up her body and dumping it along a road near Rockford, Illinois.”

Spies had recently filed a statement of alibi for Bloomfield, which said he was on a business trip during the time of the slaying.

Bloomfield had been charged with first-degree murder, which, according to the Iowa Code, occurs when, the person willfully, deliberately, and with premeditation kills another person.

First-degree murder is a Class-A felony in Iowa, which carries life in prison on conviction.

Bloomfield was granted the ability to move back to the Minneapolis area and be placed on house arrest according to a court document filed on March 18. He was placed there for health-care reasons.

On Nov. 3, Spies filed a motion for dismissal of the case, citing important witnesses being unable to be located and that investigators have known of the severity of Bloomfield’s illness and how it would impair his ability to contribute to the defense.

“My contention was that his right to a vigorous defense was violated,” Spies said.

Spies said it is disappointing his client will never get an opportunity to clear his name.

“I believe we could have demonstrated that he was innocent,” he said.

Lahey said if Bloomfield had not died, her plan was to file a counter to that motion Monday that would have contested the motion to dismiss from Spies.

Lahey said the death leaves the case unsolved.

“It is regrettable what has happened,” she said. “We were very much hoping John Bloomfield would be brought to justice for the death of Frances Bloomfield.”


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