OSAGE – A Mitchell county man has been found guilty of first-degree kidnapping and sentenced to a mandatory sentence of life in prison.
Nicholas Lenz, age 23 of Mitchell, Iowa, ran off from the Beje Clark halfway house in Mason City in February of this year. Mason City police filed a complaint about his escape – which is a felony – and he was later found guilty of felony voluntary absence from custody. While on his hiatus, he kidnapped a woman in Mitchell county and held her against her will, causing her to be hospitalized.
Lenz was later apprehended and charged with a slew of serious crimes including first-degree kidnapping, willful injury, first-degree theft and more.
A jury trial was held, and dozens of photos were admitted as evidence. He was found guilty of first-degree kidnapping and assault and awaited formal sentencing of the required life sentence. That sentence was handed down this week. His legal team has submitted a request for a new trial.
Lenz ended up in the Beje Clark halfway house after a well-publicized incident in August of 2015 as law enforcement cornered him on an arrest warrant. Lenz was apprehended without incident by the Mitchell County sheriff’s office after he had fled into a field near Osage and was surrounded. Other law enforcement also assisted, including Cerro Gordo deputies, Iowa State Patrol, Worth county, and others. He had been wanted on a Mitchell county warrant in connection to burglaries in the area, as well as a domestic abuse assault that included strangulation. Lenz later pleaded guilty to second degree burglary and first offense domestic abuse assault. Ultimately, it was a charge of second degree theft (for stealing a car) out of Chickasaw county that sent Lenz to Beje. He took a guilty plea to operating a vehicle without the owner’s consent and a judge sent him to Beje Clark for a year, starting January 5, 2016. His subsequent escape and heinous crimes later that winter sealed his fate as a prisoner for the rest of his life.