Britt man faces 1st degree murder charges

Monte Eckels
Rebecca Peter

BRITT - At approximately 7:10 p.m., Saturday, March 4, 2023, the Britt Police Department responded to a disturbance call at the residence of ‪275 4th Street Southeast in Britt.

According to a press release, upon arrival at the residence, officers encountered a male subject identified as Monte Wayne Eckels, age 56, of Britt, Iowa. Officers detained Eckels and entered the residence and observed a female subject, identified as Leallen Bergman, age 62 of Ventura, Iowa. 

Bergman was pronounced deceased at the residence from apparent stab wounds. 

Eckels was arrested on charges of Murder in the 1st Degree and transported to the Winnebago County Sheriff’s Office jail without further incident. The charge is a Class A felony punishable by life in prison.

Eckles is being held on $500,000 bond. A preliminary hearing is set for 1:15 p.m., Wednesday, March 15 at the Hancock County Courthouse in Garner.

 An investigation is being conducted by the Britt Police Department, the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation, and the Hancock County Attorney’s Office. 

Additional assistance was provided by the Hancock County Sheriff’s Office, Kanawha Police Department, Garner Police Department, and West Hancock Ambulance Service.    

Note: A criminal charge is merely an accusation and a defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.  


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