Ottumwa man faces second-degree murder charge

Sep. 14—OTTUMWA — A victim of a Sunday assault in Ottumwa died Wednesday, leading police to file second-degree murder charges.

The Ottumwa Police Department said it added the second-degree murder charge to 39-year-old Leon Laroy Stewart, of Ottumwa. He was originally charged Sunday with willful injury.

Police say that at 1:43 p.m. Sunday at a Casey's store located at 1001 E. Main St. 49-year-old Grant Cochran, of Ottumwa, was assaulted in the parking lot. When police arrived they found Cochran unconscious and severely injured, according to a department press release.

Witnesses told police another male had assaulted Cochran and then fled the scene.

The victim was transported to Ottumwa Regional Health Center and then transported to the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics in Iowa City. The victim died on Wednesday, police said.

Police identified Stewart as a suspect and later located him at 2:27 p.m.

According to court filings, police said Stewart punched Cochran with a closed fist, rendering the victim unconscious. When the victim fell to the ground he struck his head on the concrete, the filing said.

Second-degree murder is a class B felony, punishable by up to 50 years in prison if convicted.