Suspect in Mason City double homicide pleads not guilty


UPDATE: According to court documents, 30-year-old Peter Veal has pleaded not guilty to attempted murder and both charges of first-degree murder.

The man accused of killing two people and attempting to kill a third in a Mason City home is scheduled to stand trial on January 24.

Mason City police say Veal knew 54-year-old Melinda K. Kavars and 37-year-old Caleb Christensen, who were both found dead at Christensen’s home on Nov. 17. Officers say the man Veal allegedly attempted to kill called 911. That man’s injuries didn’t require hospitalization and no one involved in the incident was found with any weapons.

Police say there is no ongoing threat to the public.

Previous coverage below. 

UPDATE: Mason City police say people involved in the incident all knew each other.

Veal, who is being charged with two counts of first-degree murder and an additional charge of attempted murder, was found with no weapons. None of the other people involved had weapons on them either.

Police say a witness to the alleged crime, who also was the 911 caller, is the reason Veal faces the additional charge. His injuries did not require hospitalization.

Previous coverage below.

UPDATE: The suspect in last week’s double homicide is facing an additional charge of attempt to commit murder along with the original two counts of first-degree murder.

His arraignment is scheduled for Dec. 6 at the law enforcement complex in Mason City.

Previous coverage below. 

MASON CITY, Iowa – Authorities have released more details about a double homicide in North Iowa.

The Iowa State Medical Examiner’s Office has concluded autopsies on 54-year-old Melinda K. Kavars and 37-year-old Caleb Christensen.  They were both found dead on November 17 at 1620 North Hampshire Avenue in Mason City.

Kavars’ death has been attributed to a single gunshot wound to the head and neck.  Christensen died of multiple “sharp force injuries.”

30-year-old Peter LeRoy Veal has been charged with two counts of 1st degree murder in this case and is being held in the Cerro Gordo County Jail on $1,000,000 bond.

The Mason City Police Department says their investigation has found no ongoing threat to the community and this matter has been presented to the Cerro Gordo County Attorney’s Office for prosecution.

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