Jurors heard dramatic testimony Thursday in the First Degree Murder trial of Bruce Pollard.
Prosecutors called to the stand Dixie Day. Day is the mother of Pollard's girlfriend Amanda Collins.
While on the stand, Day read a letter that her daughter had hand-delivered to her.
The letter was from Pollard and was written after his arrest for the March 2012 murder of Cinema X Theater manager Kenneth McDaniel.
In the letter, Pollard tells Day that he went to theater to watch a film, not to commit a robbery. He claims that while he was there, McDaniel became sexually aggressive with him. Pollard then details the final moments of McDanielâ??s life.
"I grabbed the crow bar and hit him in the head. And there was a struggle. I was hit in the head with the crow bar multiple times. We went to the ground, still struggling, and I ended up strangling him to death," said Day, reading from the original letter.
Pollard went on to say in the letter that if he had intended to rob the place, he would not have left over $200 in the theater after killing McDaniel. He closes by apologizing for all the trouble he caused.
Prosecutors have alleged that McDaniel was killed in a robbery attempt gone bad.
The defense has argued that Pollard suffered from mental health issues brought on by childhood abuse, and that he killed McDaniel in self defense.
Earlier on Thursday, Amanda Collins took the stand. On direct questioning from prosecutors, Collins testified that she saw Pollard the night of the murder with cuts on his head. She testified that Pollard told her he had been in a fight.
On cross-examination, Collins told the jury that Pollard knew he suffered from mental illness and had been trying to get professional medical help for sometime.
Also on Thursday, jurors learned more about the victim.
Debbie Wiesler took the stand. Wiesler and her husband own three adult theaters, including the Cinema X in Ottumwa.
Wiesler frequently broke into tears as she described McDanielâ??s as more than an employee, almost a family member.
Wiesler told the jury that the Cinema X Theater was making very little money, but that the couple would not close it down and deprive McDaniel of his both his home and place of employment.
"Well Kenny was like an owner. He was more than an owner. I mean he was there for 40 years. He took care of that building, everything you could imagine all of the maintenance everything. He gave his life for that building, that business," Wiesler said.
The prosecution is expected to continue its case on Friday morning.
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