A Wednesday morning bank robbery in the small north-central Iowa town of Lu Verne ended with the shooting death of a 43-year-old woman who worked for the bank.

Authorities responded to reports of shots fired at Security State Bank Wednesday, December 4, at approximately 8:40 a.m. When authorities arrived, bank employee Jessica Weishaar of Algona was lying on the sidewalk in front of the bank. Court records indicate she had died from multiple gunshot wounds. Funeral arrangements for Weishaar are pending at Lentz Funeral Home in Algona.

Lu Verne, Iowa; Google Maps

Just under an hour later, officers from the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation and the Iowa State Patrol stopped a black SUV about 45 miles southeast of Lu Verne. The vehicle matched the description of one seen near the bank. The Mazda CX-5 had been rented by 35-year-old Valentino Williams of Coralville two days earlier in Iowa City.

Authorities arrested Williams and charged him with first-degree murder as well as first-degree robbery at Security State Bank in Lu Verne. It's one of four Kossuth County locations for the locally-owned bank.


Williams has a long history of run-ins with the law in Iowa. He was first arrested at age 14 on charges of robbery and theft. He went to prison in 2002.

In 2008, Williams was released from prison. The next year, he was charged with a number of robberies. He was sent back to prison in 2010 and was released on parole 10 months ago.