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Day one of the Samantha Bevans trial began with opening arguments from the Assistant Iowa Attorney General, Monty Platz and seated with him was Benton County Assistant Attorney Tim Dille. Representing Samantha Bevans was attorney, Lindsay Garner. It was a he said, she said.

The state opened its case to convict Bevans by presenting key pieces of evidence against Bevans. First, the showed a note that Bevans wrote which said, "Thursday, 12:43 p.m. Kill Jodie."

A second piece shared a social media post that she had made bragging that "she" and later "they" had killed Jodie. "I killed her. I killed her myself," and boyfriend, Tacoa Talley, encouraged her to "keep going." "And I knew this would happen, so good job," Talley said. "We killed her," Samantha says and then makes an obscene gesture.

On the defendant's side, they argue that Samantha was in an abusive relationship and that she acted the way she did because of the effects of that. Her lawyer also pointed out that she was high at the time and even when speaking to police she believes that Bevans was high and during her confession she was still high. The lawyer will try to make the case that this was a "burglary gone wrong."

The state began the trial by calling Benton County Sheriff's Deputy, Joshua Karsten to testify. He arrived at the residence before the family and couldn't observe anything amiss at the residence So he waited for the family to return to open the home. The family gained access to the home and the deputy was then able to access the scene. Karsten could see the victim and as he checked she had already grown cold to the touch. He put a call out for other agencies to respond to the residence.

The scene was cleared and determined to be a crime scene. Details of the happenings of that day were recapped.

Next testifying for the state was Special Agent Trent Vileta with the Iowa DCI (Department of Criminal Investigation). He recapped the events of the evening through evidence gathered, cellphone tracking and testimony that had been gathered.

Talley and Bevans had gone to the house, locking locks that weren't ever locked. They met up with another person, drove him to a hotel, took the man's car, and dog, and made it impossible for him to leave with all of his belongings and car for a time. The man later found the note which read "Kill Jodie" scribbled in a notebook that Samantha had left in the car. He later talked with the officers about it. 

A recording of an interview with Samantha with police was played. During this part of the hearing, the defendant appeared to cry. 

Photos of the crime scene were shown to the jury in which it appeared that Jodie Bevans had been beaten severely in the face. The officer explained the things that had been observed at the residence. 

Bevans' sister, Kellie Hughes was called as a witness to the stand next. Shown a smiling picture of her stepmother Jodie Bevans, she was asked to identify the photo.  She smiled at the picture and said, "That's Jodie Bevans." 

She testified to the relationship of Samantha in the family. She talked of a scene outside a courthouse where Samantha would lose custody of her baby to her father and stepmother in 2011. Angry, Samantha had left and didn't attend the hearing. 

Hughes also explained the events of the day from the family's perspective. Knowing that Jodie went to bed at 7 or 8:00 p.m. to get up for work as a nurse at 4-4:30 a.m. they had gone to set up campsites the day of July 14, 2022. They planned to have everything set up so that when Jodie would get off of work she could simply come out and relax.

When she didn't make it to the campsite the next day, they called her place of work to see if she was working late. When they finally touched base, they discovered that she hadn't been to work that day and had her employer had tried to reach her husband via text, which he didn't receive.

Garner, the defense attorney clarified that Samantha knew that the rest of the family was away at the campsite, and had made several calls to verify when they would be leaving. Samantha had recently been kicked out of the home and when asked about the presence of the surveillance cameras (located inside and outside the home), Hughes explained that they had been installed because there had been thefts specifically from inside the house.

She also asked Hughes if the doors had always been locked and the sister clarified that only after Samantha had been kicked out of the home and never one of the locks that had no key.

The family quickly left the campsite to investigate at about 7:00 pm on July 15, 2022. Checking the surveillance camera they saw that it been disabled at 11:06 p.m. July 14. 2022. They called 911 asking for a wellness check, knowing that Jodie's failure to show up for work a was not normal. The family hurriedly returned to the home where the officer was to meet them.

Entering the home, the family discovered the body first. Hughes because of her background in law enforcement knew immediately that Jodie had passed. 

The first day ended with the testimony of Jodie Bevan's husband Mike. Court resumed on Wednesday with his testimony.

(Also of note: During this day, an attempt to declare a mistrial was requested by defense attorney Garner. The judge found no reason to do so.  Citing agreements made between the attorneys before the trial began, the reasons stated were dismissed.)

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