MARENGO, Iowa — A trial has been moved to Linn County for a man accused of punching to death a 2-year-old girl in Iowa County.

A judge agreed in a ruling filed Friday that pretrial publicity had marred Cody Stevenson’s chances for a fair trial in Iowa County. He’s pleaded not guilty to a charge of first-degree murder.

A criminal complaint says Stevenson struck the daughter of his live-in girlfriend three or four times in the abdomen on June 30 at a Williamsburg apartment. Authorities say the girl died July 3. The records don’t list her name.

Stevenson’s trial in Cedar Rapids is scheduled to begin May 7.

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