Murder victim mutilated post-mortem

Police arrested two Marshalltown men Wednesday for a murder in which the victim’s body was mutilated post-mortem.

Jeremy A. Gartin, 30, is charged with first-degree murder and carrying a concealed weapon.

Max E. Nelson Jr. is charged with accessory after the fact, abuse of a corpse and first-degree theft.

Police Chief Mike Tupper said the murder victim has not been positively identified. An autopsy was performed Wednesday, Tupper said, but a cause of death has not been released.

Police discovered the adult male’s body at Gartin’s home, 502 N. Fourth Ave. late Tuesday evening.

Tupper said sometime following the homicide, Nelson stole the victim’s vehicle, a 2007 Dodge Charger, for which he is charged with first-degree theft, a Class C felony. Gartin is charged with carrying a concealed weapon for having a knife on him when he was apprehended.

The circumstances surrounding the death are still being investigated, Tupper said. No other suspects are being sought in connection with the crime.

If convicted, Gartin faces a maximum sentence of life in prison without parole. Online court records show Gartin has a long criminal history including felony charges of willful injury, criminal mischief, possession of firearm and burglary.

Nelson, the former publisher of the now defunct Marshall County Sun, was arrested on felony drug charges in May 2012. A trial in that case has been postponed several times. Abuse of a corpse is a Class D felony charge, punishable up to 5 years in prison.

Gartin and Nelson were initially held as material witnesses in the case. Both are being held in the Marshall County Jail without bond.