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Monroe trucker’s rest stop murder suspect pleads not guilty

Published: Tuesday, Oct. 3, 2017 9:58 a.m. CDT • Updated: Wednesday, Oct. 4, 2017 11:03 a.m. CDT

MARENGO — A woman charged in the Sept. 6 shooting death of a Monroe truck driver at an Interstate 80 rest area near Victor entered a plea of not guilty Monday in Iowa County Court.

Online court records show 43-year-old Mariana T. Lesnic entered the written plea during an arraignment. Lesnic has been charged with first-degree murder in the death of 60-year-old Earnest Kummer. She is still being held at the Iowa County Jail on a $1 million cash-only bond.

Kummer was found dead in his semi-truck sleeper after Iowa County Sheriff officials received a report at 2:37 a.m. Sept. 6 of a shooting at the westbound rest stop. Court records state when authorities arrived at the scene officers found Kummer dead with a gunshot wound to the head.

Authorities have yet to release a possible motive to the killing.

A pretrial conference is scheduled in the case for Jan. 8 with a jury trial to follow Jan. 23.

Contact Mike Mendenhall at mmendenhall@newtondailynews.com

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