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Spirit Lake man pleads guilty on murder charge

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news Worthington, 56187

Worthington Minnesota 300 11th Street / P.O. Box 639 56187

SPIRIT  LAKE, Iowa — A Spirit Lake man entered a guilty plea Monday in Dickinson County District Court in the death of a Jackson woman that took place in early December 2013 at a residence near Spirit Lake.


Tailer Handsaker pleaded guilty to the charge of second-degree murder and two counts of willful injury in the death of Sara Grimmius.

Early court documents suggest the death may have taken place several days before authorities were called to the remote Spirit Lake neighborhood. 

Handsaker was originally facing a charge of first-degree murder, which was dropped as part of a plea agreement.

Handsaker was sentenced to no more than 50 years in prison on the second-degree murder charge. He must serve at least 70 percent of that term, or 35 years, before eligible for parole. He was also sentenced to no more than 10 years on each count of willful injury.

The terms are to be served consecutively with credit given for time already served.

Handsaker was also ordered to pay restitution to the victim's family and a crime victim's assistance fund.