Joshua Pendleton sentenced to life in prison for Fort Dodge pastor’s death

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Joshua Pendleton

FORT DODGE, Iowa (AP) — The man who killed a church pastor outside a Fort Dodge church was sentenced Friday to life in prison with no chance of parole.

Joshua Pendleton was convicted of first-degree murder in April in the beating death of Rev. Al Henderson, The Fort Dodge Messenger reported.

Henderson, who was also a longtime chaplain of Webster County public safety agencies and first responders, was found unresponsive outside St. Paul Lutheran Church in October 2019.

According to court records, Pendleton told police he believed he heard a woman screaming inside the church and thought Henderson was hurting her. He attacked Henderson when the pastor tried to stop him from entering the church.

The court proceedings were delayed several times in response to Pendleton’s mental health issues. Authorities and his family have said he is schizophrenic.

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