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Update: Woman accused of murder pleads not guilty in Rock Rapids

ROCK RAPIDS, Iowa -- A woman who is accused of fatally shooting her boyfriend during an argument last month pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder in Lyon County District Court during an arraignment Monday.

Laura Jeannette Lowe, 51, filled out and signed a document stating the not guilty plea and demanding a speedy trial. That document was filed March 25.

Lowe was originally charged with attempted murder two days after the incident, but that case was dismissed after Levi David Hofer, 50, died after being removed from life support. He had been flown to a hospital shortly after the shooting and was listed in critical condition.

The shooting took place Feb. 28 around 6:15 p.m., and was initially described to law enforcement by Lowe and a housemate as a suicide. Authorities had arrived at the scene to find a female who was slightly injured and a male with a gunshot would to the head.

Lyon County Sheriff Blythe Bloemendaal said Lowe and Larry Duane Griffin, 60, who lived in the couple's basement, were separated for questioning when authorities first arrived on the scene, and both seemed to have trouble remembering what had happened during the window of time when shots were fired.

"They seemed to be very capable of remembering everything else," Bloemendaal commented.

Both witnesses claimed there was a heated argument going on in the house at the time of the shooting, Bloemendaal stated, and a lot of drinking was involved.

Bloemendaal seemed skeptical of the attempted suicide story, adding that the entrance wound on Hofer's head was in a position that would make a self-inflicted shot with a .22 rifle very difficult.

"Yesterday, Lowe decided to tell the truth," Bloemendaal said two days after the shooting. "That she fired the shot that struck (Hofer) in the head."

He would not comment on possibly motive, other than the argument fueled with alcohol.

With the demand of a speedy trial, the proceeding must take place within 90 days of the filing of the indictment and/or trial information. As of yet, no date has been set for trial, though a pre-trial conference has been set for late April.

According to the plea of not guilty filed with the court, Lowe is represented by Iowa Office of the State Chief Public Defender Gregory Jones, who is court appointed. The document also indicates Lowe graduated from high school and attended two years of college.

Iowa woman pleads not guilty to murder charge

ROCK RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) -- A northwest Iowa woman accused in the death of her boyfriend has pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder.

Laura Lowe, of Rock Rapids, is accused of shooting Levi Hofer on Feb. 28 after authorities say they got into an argument. Hofer died two days later.

Online court records show Lowe entered a written plea of not guilty last Thursday in Lyon County District Court.

Lowe remains in the Lyon County jail on $150,00 bond.

A telephone call to Lowe's attorney, Greg Jones of the Iowa public defender's office in Sioux City, on Monday was not immediately returned.

More information will be posted as it becomes available.