Marshal Douglas Bell was shot and killed with his own weapon after stopping a stolen vehicle outside of Keota. He had pursued the vehicle on Highway 77 for about three miles outside the town limits before the vehicle stopped.
Fearing that Marshal Bell would discover that the vehicle was stolen, the driver attacked him as the marshal wrote a ticket. He was able to gain control of Marshal Bell’s service revolver and shot him six times, reloaded it, and then shot him three more times.
On August 28, 1979, a 21 year-old Iowa Penitentiary inmate was charged with Marshal Bell’s murder. He was serving a 10 year sentence for a 1978 kidnapping conviction. He was convicted of first degree murder and sentenced to life on July 29, 1980.
Marshal Bell had served with the Keota Police Department for two weeks. He is survived by his father, who was a retired sheriff’s deputy, his mother, and brother.
Keota Police Department
End of Watch: Jun. 11, 1976