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Mason City man accused of murdering woman, setting house on fire to conceal crime pleads not guilty

MASON CITY — A Mason City man charged with murdering a woman and then setting a house on fire to cover up the crime has pleaded not guilty.

Mason City police arrested 28-year-old Dominick Degner on December 17th. Firefighters responded to 123 North Tennessee Avenue on the morning of September 7th and later found 24-year-old Tonette Wolfe dead in the home that the two shared.

A criminal complaint filed in Cerro Gordo County District Court says Degner caused fatal injuries to Wolfe including blunt force trauma, a broken rib, punctured lung and a partially broken hyoid bone. Degner is then accused of setting fire to the victim’s body and the house in an attempt to conceal the crime.

Degner filed a written plea of not guilty in Cerro Gordo County District Court on Tuesday. Court records did not immediately indicate a trial date.

Degner is being held in the Cerro Gordo County Jail on a total of $1 million bond. If convicted of first-degree murder, Degner would face a mandatory sentence of life in prison without the opportunity for parole.

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