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Ben Benda dead in Marshalltown robbery-shooting

Three Men Face Murder, Robbery Charges

February 8, 2012
By John Speer, Editor & David Alexander, Times Republican ( , Toledo Chronicle, Tama News-Herald

Well-known Tama and Toledo area resident Ben Benda was shot in the head during a robbery in downtown Marshalltown on Monday night, Marshalltown Police said.

The Marshalltown Times Republican reported Tuesday afternoon a family member of Benda, the victim in Monday night's shooting, has confirmed he died. Donnie Benda, his brother, said Benjamin Benda died at 11:37 a.m. at the University of Iowa Hospitals in Iowa City

Benda, 39, was taken to Marshalltown Medical and Surgical Center, then transferred to University hospitals in Iowa City by ambulance according to police

Article Photos

Ben Benda proudly displayed his new taxi just before putting it into service in February, 2010.
News-Herald file/John Speer

Two men were arrested in Clarke County, Iowa, early Tuesday morning and charged with 1st degree robbery in connection with the shooting. They are identified as Steven Etzen, 27, and Shawn Doehler, 23, both of Marshalltown. They were later charged with 1st degree murder.

Thomas (TJ) Vaughn, 28, also of Marshalltown, was charged on Tuesday with 1st degree murder and 1st degree robbery in connection with the death. He had initially been held as a witness in the case.

The shooting occurred in an apartment above the Center Street Station bar, 19 1/2 N. Center St., police said. It is located across the street from the Marshalltown Police Station.

It was reported in a 911 call to police at 6:55 p.m.

Marshalltown Police said the investigation identified three suspects and information provided by witnesses indicated the two suspects fled to Osceola shortly after the shooting.

At about 6 a.m., with the assistance of the Osceola Police Department, Clarke County Sheriff's Office, Iowa State Patrol and Division of Criminal Investigation Etzen, and Doehler, were taken into custody. 1st degree.

Also taken in to custody as a material witness was Melissa Andrews, 44, Marshalltown.

Andrews was near the incident or at the incident and has critical information, Police Capt. Brian Batterson told The Marshalltown Times Republican.

Benda operated Benny's Taxi Service for a time in Tama-Toledo beginning in February, 2010, and previously was a member of the wait staff at the Meskwaki Casino buffet.

Among survivors of Benjamin Benda are three elementary school-age children.



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