ARTICLE

Bond set at $1 million in 1995 murder

Steven Klein faces life without parole in Johnson County murder case

Steven Klein answers questions from a judge during his initial appearance at the Johnson County Jail in Iowa City on Sat
Steven Klein answers questions from a judge during his initial appearance at the Johnson County Jail in Iowa City on Saturday, July 18, 2015. (KC McGinnis / The Gazette)
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The man facing a murder charge in connection of the 1995 death of Susan Kersten will remain jailed on $1 million bond following an initial appearance this morning.

Steven Klein, of Mount Pleasant, spoke softly and acknowledged questions with brief answers as he made his initial appearance Saturday inside the Johnson County Jail. District Associate Judge Deb Minot did not set additional court hearings, however Klein was given an application for a public defender. Because of the severity of the charge, Klein is allowed to be represented by two attorneys.

Klein is accused of the 1995 murder of Susan Kersten, 38, in Iowa City. On Sept. 24, 1995, authorities found Kersten's body in her burning car near Hills south of Iowa City in Johnson County. An autopsy later showed she died from several blows to the head. Klein is accused of staging an accident in which it appeared Kersten went off the road, and set fire to the car with her body inside, criminal complaints state.

Klein, now 54, is the father of Kersten's twin daughters. While Klein was a person of interest early on in the investigation, investigators lacked the evidence to arrest him. He was taken into custody Friday in Muscatine at his workplace.

If convicted of first-degree murder, Klein faces a mandatory sentence of life without parole.

l Comments: (319) 398-5872; maddy.arnold@thegazette.com

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