Man accused of killing Iowa pastor pleads not guilty

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FORT DODGE, Iowa (AP) — A man has pleaded not guilty to allegations that he beat a pastor to death outside a central Iowa church.

Webster County court records say 36-year-old Joshua Pendleton entered pleas Monday to charges of robbery and first-degree murder. His trial is scheduled to begin Dec. 10.

Officers sent to St. Paul Lutheran Church in Fort Dodge on Oct. 2 found the Rev. Allen Henderson lying unresponsive outside. Henderson was pronounced dead at a local hospital.

Police say security footage shows a man who officers identified as Pendleton trying to get into the building. Police say Pendleton later acknowledged to investigators that he had fought with a man at the church.

The 64-year-old Henderson was senior pastor at St. Paul and had served as a chaplain to area first responders.

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