Kirk Levin
Kirk Levin
The 21-year-old Early man accused of stabbing his mother to death and kidnapping another woman this month pleaded not-guilty to the crimes on Monday, online court records show.

Kirk Levin faces felony murder and kidnapping charges for allegedly strangling and stabbing to death his mother, Marilyn Schmitt, 45, in the upstairs bedroom of her rural Early house on Jan. 3, and for kidnapping a 21-year-old Storm Lake woman later that morning.

The murder charge is punishable by up to life in prison. Levin had just been released from an eastern Iowa prison on New Year's Day from a felony burglary conviction.

Levin was arrested this month after he lost control of the vehicle he drove in the alleged kidnapping on an icy gravel road and went into a ditch about 8 a.m. on Jan. 3.

A passerby neighbor stopped to help and apparently spooked Levin, who fled to a nearby river and walked along it for more than a mile. He was found 40 minutes later shivering with no shoes next to an old farm building, investigators have said.

They allege that Levin killed Schmitt between 1:30 and 5:45 a.m. and drove her car to Storm Lake, where he asked the kidnap victim for a ride to the Early house.

Levin allegedly coaxed the woman into a barn and bound her with rope. He was initially accused of attempted sexual assault but was not formally charged for the crime.

Levin, who is originally from Wisconsin, has a well-documented history of violent sexual fantasies, court records from Iowa and Wisconsin show, but the felony crimes he had been found guilty of before this month were burglary and theft.

He is held on $1 million bond at the Sac County Jail in Sac City.