LAKE PARK, Iowa (KCAU) — A man who pleaded guilty in the case of a 2020 murder in Lake Park, Iowa, has been sentenced to 25 years in prison.
Justice Berntson, 25, appeared in Dickinson County Courthouse on Tuesday afternoon for the murder of Angel Bastman, 25, in December 2020.
Berntson pleaded guilty to attempt to commit murder in December 2021 as part of a plea agreement. He was originally charged with first-degree murder, second-degree theft and conspiracy to commit non-forcible felony.
Berntson’s accomplice, Allison Decker, was found guilty Tuesday on all counts including first-degree murder, second-degree theft, and third-degree conspiracy to commit non-forcible entry.
Authorities were called in December 2020 to a residence in Lake Park. Upon arrival, they found the body of a deceased woman and began a homicide investigation.
Days after discovering Bastman’s body, Berntson was arrested in Sioux City for felony eluding in a vehicle that Bastman had rented and had been reported missing.
Court documents stated that Berntson and Decker were found in Sioux City with items belonging to Bastman and her family members. Additionally, witnesses and records showed Berntson and Decker made statements that they were involved in the death and had also been at Bastman’s residence the night of the murder.
Berntson must serve 70% of his 25-year sentence before he is eligible for parole. Berntson must pay more than $30,000 in restitution and fines.