Trial opens in slaying of Iowa HS football coach

February 12, 2010 4:31:41 AM PST
Opening statements are set to get under way in the trial of a man accused of gunning down a revered high school football coach in Iowa. Mark D. Becker is accused of killing Aplington-Parkersburg High School football coach Ed Thomas in the school's weight room last year. His trial gets begins at the Butler County Courthouse on Friday.

The 24-year-old's defense attorney has said he'll ask jurors to find Becker not guilty by reason of insanity or diminished responsibility.

Becker had played football for Thomas in high school. He is accused of shooting the coach to death in front of more than 20 students last June 24.

Thomas led the northeast Iowa team for 34 seasons and was the NFL High School Coach of the Year in 2005. Four of his players are now in the NFL.