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Man accused of killing Fort Dodge pastor held on $6M bond

Joshua Pendleton (left) and Allen Henderson

In a court filing, a police lieutenant said security footage shows a man who officers identified as Pendleton trying to get into the building.

Posted: Oct 4, 2019 10:32 AM
Updated: Oct 4, 2019 10:35 AM

FORT DODGE, Iowa — The suspect in a Fort Dodge pastor's murder appeared in court Friday morning and is being held on $6M bond.

Joshua Pendleton's initial court appearance was supposed to be Thursday through a video conference call.

Pendleton appeared before the judge Friday via video conference. 

The judge read the charges to Pendleton and set a $5 million cash-only bond on the murder charge and a $1 million cash-only bond on the robbery charge.

Officers sent to St. Paul Lutheran Church in Fort Dodge on Wednesday evening found the Rev. Allen Henderson lying unresponsive outside of the building, police said in a news release. Henderson was pronounced dead at a local hospital of injuries consistent with an assault.

Police later arrested Joshua Pendleton, 36, and charged him with robbery and first-degree murder. He remained jailed on Thursday, and online court records don’t list an attorney for him yet. The records do show that he was previously convicted of disorderly conduct, assaulting a jailer and other crimes.

In a court filing, a police lieutenant said security footage shows a man who officers identified as Pendleton trying to get into the building. He said Pendleton later acknowledged to investigators that he had fought with a man at the church, and he gave officers a cellphone he’d taken from the man.

There were meetings and classes going on inside the building while the confrontation was occurring, but none of the participants reported seeing what happened, police Capt. Ryan Gruenberg said Thursday. An autopsy has been scheduled.

Henderson, who was 64 years old, was the senior pastor at the church, where he had served since 1999.

A plea hearing was set for October 11 at 4 p.m.

- The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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