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Lake Park murder: Man gets 25 years in prison, woman found guilty of first-degree murder

Published: Jun. 21, 2022 at 6:06 PM CDT
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SPIRIT LAKE, Iowa (KUOO/KTIV) - Two people involved in the 2020 death of a woman in Lake Park, Iowa were in court Tuesday. Our news partner KUOO Radio reports one of them was sentenced to 25 years in prison while the other was found guilty of murder.

On Dec. 22, 2020, authorities found the body of Angel Bastman in the basement of a Lake Park residence. Investigators eventually charged two people for the death of Bastman, Justice Berntson and Allison Decker.

On June 21, Berntson was sentenced to 25 years in prison for his role in Bastman’s death. Berntson was originally charged with first-degree murder, but in December 2021, as part of a plea agreement, pleaded guilty to attempted murder. Two counts of theft and conspiracy to commit a non-forcible felony were dropped as part of the deal.

Berntson must serve 70-percent of his 25-year sentence before being eligible for parole and must pay restitution for victim damages. Several members of Bastman’s family were there for the sentencing, including her mother, Tammy Bastman.

In court, Tammy said Berntson “intentions were clear when he arrived at Angel’s home,” adding Berntson “stole years from everyone who loved Angel.” Berntson made a statement apologizing for his part in Bastman’s death, saying it “will stay with me the rest of my life.”

Later on June 21 Decker found herself in court as well and was found guilty of first-degree murder, second-degree theft and conspiracy to commit theft. The conviction follows a bench trial back in May that lasted a little more than a week. Her sentencing date has not been set at this time but under Iowa law, those convicted of first-degree murder face a mandatory sentence of life in prison without parole.

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