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Unlikely witness testifying in Iowa murder trial
Detective who believed woman charged in '01 murder was victim testifying for Iowa prosecutors
By The Associated Press

FORT DODGE, Iowa (AP) ' Iowa prosecutors are calling an unlikely witness in their case against a woman accused of killing her neighbor in an attempt to frame her ex-husband: a detective who believed she was telling the truth about being the victim of a home invasion.

Tracey Richter is charged with first-degree murder for fatally shooting 20-year-old Dustin Wehde in 2001. Richter told police it was self-defense, saying she was strangled after Wehde and another man broke into her home.

Dennis Cessford was a local sheriff's lieutenant who interviewed Richter that night. He told jurors Wednesday that injuries on Richter's neck, hands and legs supported her story. Cessford is expected to continue testifying Thursday.

Prosecutors say Richter shot Wehde, then planted a notebook in his car that implicated her ex-husband in a murder-for-hire scheme.

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