TOLEDO, Iowa — A second trial has begun for a man, nearly three months after a judge overturned his first-degree murder conviction in the 2000 disappearance of a Tama woman whose body has never been found.

Attorneys gave opening arguments Monday in the retrial of Tait O. Purk, who was charged in connection with the disappearance of his fiancee Cora Okonski. A jury previously convicted Purk, but a judge found the verdict wasn’t backed by evidence.

The Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier reports Purk waived his right to a jury. The case is now before Judge Ian Thornhill.

Tama County Attorney Brent Heeren told jurors Okonski is dead, and “the one truth is Tait Purk murdered his fiancee.”

Defense attorney Aaron Siebrecht called the case “speculation and conjecture about a man who is universally disliked.”


Information from: Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier, http://www.wcfcourier.com

Author photo
The AP is one of the largest and most trusted sources of independent newsgathering. AP is neither privately owned nor government-funded; instead, as a not-for-profit news cooperative owned by its American newspaper and broadcast members, it can maintain its single-minded focus on newsgathering and its commitment to the highest standards of objective, accurate journalism.