Feb 27, 2021 2:00 AM

Jury: Kansas man guilty of stalking, killing his girlfriend

Posted Feb 27, 2021 2:00 AM
 Bassett photo Hamilton Co. Jail
Bassett photo Hamilton Co. Jail

WEBSTER CITY, IOWA (AP) — A Kansas man has been convicted of second-degree murder in the 2018 death of his girlfriend in Iowa.

Zackery Bassett, 34, of Elwood, Kansas, was originally charged with first-degree murder after Andrea Solokowski, 50, was found not breathing in a home in Webster City. An autopsy showed evidence of asphyxiation but her cause of death was listed as undetermined.

Bassett was convicted in Hamilton County Tuesday on the lesser charge after a trial that had been repeatedly delayed by COVID-19 precautions.

Prosecutors alleged Bassett repeatedly abused Solokowski, of Sioux City, for more than a year before her death. Her family told investigators Bassett had stalked her and she had told a friend she was afraid he would kill her.

The maximum sentence possible in Iowa for second-degree murder is 50 years. Bassett is scheduled to be sentenced April 5.

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WEBSTER CITY, Iowa (AP) — A March trial has been scheduled for a man accused of killing his girlfriend in central Iowa.

Hamilton County District Court records show 32-year-old Zackery Bassett, of Webster City, entered a written plea of not guilty Monday to a charge of first-degree murder. His trial is set to begin March 5.

Investigators said Bassett called Webster City police Sept. 22 to report his girlfriend, 50-year-old Andrea Sokolowski, was not breathing. Sokolowski was taken by ambulance to a Webster City hospital, where she was pronounced dead.

Bassett was arrested on an Iowa warrant Nov. 14 in St. Joseph, Missouri.

Through interviews and medical records, detectives determined Bassett had expressed jealousy and violence toward Sokolowski in the months leading up to her death, according to charging documents.

Authorities said Bassett abused Sokolowski for more than a year before she died.