Fort Dodge pastor murdered: Rev. Allen Henderson beaten to death in robbery outside church. Joshua Pendleton arrested after stealing priest’s cellphone.
An Iowa man has been arrested in the murder of a pastor and chaplain to area first responders – who was found beaten to death and robbed outside of a Fort Dodge church he long presided over, investigators said.
Joshua Pendleton, 36, was charged with first-degree murder and robbery in the death of 64-year-old Rev. Allen Henderson.
The senior pastor was found unresponsive outside the St. Paul Lutheran Church on Wednesday evening with injuries consistent with assault, Fort Dodge police said in a released statement. Doctors later pronounced him dead at a hospital.
‘[Henderson] was a beloved member of our family and we are working with heavy hears this evening as we move forward from this tragic incident,’ the department said. ‘He will forever be remembered for his dedication and service for all of those he touched within this community and beyond.’
As police investigated, officers recognized Pendleton on surveillance video trying to enter the building, the Des Moines Register reported, citing a police lieutenant’s statement in a court filing.
Pendleton later told police he had fought with a man outside the church and turned over a cellphone he snatched from the victim, the lieutenant said.
Pendleton is scheduled to appear in court Friday. He appeared to have a violent outburst in the Webster County Jail before his scheduled video appearance, KCCI-TV reported.
Court records show Pendleton has been charged numerous times over the past five years with attacking jailers, guards and others, often in conjunction with court-ordered medical treatment, the Des Moines Register reported.
Henderson had served at the church since 1999. He was an active member of the group Serving Our Servants, which supports public servants. Among other activities, it has provided water and food to first responders and raised money to buy Fort Dodge police new dress caps for formal occasions.