Steven Harvey Etzen II, 27, pled guilty on June 29 to 2nd degree murder in Marshall County District Court online court records show. Sentencing is set for Sept. 10.
Etzen was identified as the gunman in the slaying of Ben Benda, in a robbery-shooting in an apartment above the Center Street Station bar in downtownMarshalltown. Benda was reported by Marshalltown Police to have been shot in the head the night of Feb. 6. He died at University Hospitals in Iowa City the next day.
Under Iowa Law, 2nd degree murder carries a penalty of a sentence of up to 50 years in prison.
Steven Harvey Etzen II
Ben Benda, 39, was a well-known Tama-Toledo area resident who had moved to Marshalltown before becoming the victim of the attack.
Benda had owned and operated Benny's Taxi Service here in 2010 and previously had been a waiter at the Meskwaki Casino buffet.
Among survivors are three elementary school-age children.
Two others charged in the robbery-slaying are also awaiting sentencing after pleading guilty to lesser offenses.
Shawn Maxwell Doehler, 23, and Thomas Vaughn, 28, along with Etzen were all initially charged with 1st degree murder, 1st degree robbery and 1st degree burglary by Marshalltown Police.