Murder suspect makes initial court appearance

The man accused of killing a Marshalltown woman told a judge Wednesday, “I didn’t really mean to kill her.”

Mathew Irving, 40, made an initial court appearance for first-degree murder from the Marshall County Jail, where he appeared via video conference, before Judge Kim Riley.

Irving is charged with the murder of Rebecca Hall, 55, whose body was discovered in a minivan shortly after midnight Sunday. A Marshall County Sheriff’s deputy happened upon the blue Chrysler Town and Country on East Main Street Road, near Sand Lake, while on routine patrol.

The van belonged to Hall’s sister, Bonney Weber, who said Wednesday she believed Irving to be a friend of Hall’s.

“I would have never expected it of him,” she said. “I didn’t know him very well with friends like that who needs enemies?”

The Marshall County Sheriff’s Office anticipates filing additional charges, according to a news release it issued Tuesday night. However, the release does not indicate whether Irving will see more charges or if police have an additional suspect.

Marshall County Chief Deputy Burt Tecklenburg declined to comment further on the case, saying only that police are “doing additional followup and making sure there aren’t any other people culpable in the offense.”

Weber said police told her there was no evidence of sexual assault. Although police have released Hall’s body, she said they would not provide her with further details about any trauma Hall may have suffered. She said police told her Irving signed a confession, but Tecklenburg would not confirm such claims.

The Marshall County Sheriff’s Office and the Division of Criminal Investigation will continue to investigate the death.

No details on Hall’s autopsy or cause of death were available at press time.

First-degree murder is a Class A felony with a maximum sentence of life without parole.

“I hope he gets life if he did it,” Weber said.

According to online court records, Irving’s criminal history is limited. In 1995, a Polk County court found him guilty of possession of marijuana and carrying weapons. For those crimes, Irving spent time in a residential facility and received a suspended prison sentence and probation.

Irving is being held on a $1 million cash-only bond.

Funeral arrangements for Hall are scheduled for 11 a.m. Monday at Mitchell Family Funeral Home, 1209 Iowa Ave. W. The viewing begins at 10 a.m.; following the ceremony, Hall will be buried alongside family members at Riverside Cemetery.

-David Alexander contributed to this report