MASON CITY – A man caught fleeing the scene of an alleged double murder on Mason City’s North End says he’s not guilty and will stand trial in January.
Peter Leroy Veal, age 30 of Lake Mills, Iowa, was arrested on the morning of November 17 at approx 2:30 AM after a brief foot pursuit near 12th Street NE and North Carolina Ave. Mason City police officers has been called to 1620 North Hampshire Avenue to investigate a report of a shooting. Cerro Gordo County deputies and the Mason City Fire Department also responded. Police found Melinda Kavars and Caleb Christensen deceased inside the residence. Christensen was listed as the owner of the house. Veal fled the scene but police nabbed him and took him to jail.
Veal was soon charged with 2 counts of felony A first-degree murder and has been held in the Cerro Gordo County jail ever since.
On December 6, Veal entered a plea of not guilty. Judge James Drew set a jury trial for January 24 and a pre-trail conference (possible plea deal) two weeks earlier on January 10.
According to police, on Monday, November 21, the Iowa State Medical Examiner’s Office conducted autopsies and determined that 54-year-old Melinda Kavars died of a single gunshot wound to the neck and chest. Her manner of death has been officials classified as classified as a homicide.
Also, 37-year-old Caleb Christensen was found to have died of multiple sharp force injuries. His manner of death was classified as a homicide.