Muscatine man pleads not guilty to first-degree murder in stabbing death of grandmother

MUSCATINE, Iowa -- A Muscatine man has pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder in the stabbing death of his 66-year-old grandmother.

Darian Lensgraf was formally charged Friday with the December 12th murder of his grandmother at her Muscatine home. Police arrested him at a nearby convenience store where a clerk said he had been holding a bloody knife.

Lensgraf has been in custody at the Muscatine County Jail on a cash only bond of five million dollars. On Friday he withdrew a request to reduce bond and submitted a plea of not guilty through his lawyer.

He also demanded his right to a speedy trial. The judge set the jury trial date for February 11th. However, the prosecution said it was likely that the trail would be pushed back to later this year.

"In a case like this there's a lot of work the lawyers have to do behind the scenes," said Muscatine County Attorney Alan Ostergren. "Mr. Lensgraf gets the same rules that everybody else does and that is that he's presumed innocent. And we as prosecutors have some work to do."

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