Lawyer Wants Ill Iowa City Slaying Suspect Freed

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IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) -- The lawyer for a former Iowa City man says his client is too sick to remain in jail awaiting trial in the slaying of the client's wife 17 years ago.

The Iowa City Press-Citizen says attorney Leon Spies has filed court documents seeking the release from detention of 73-year-old John Bloomfield. A hearing on the request is scheduled for Feb. 20.

Authorities arrested Bloomfield in November at his home in St. Paul, Minn. after conducting additional DNA testing in the unsolved slaying of 57-year-old Frances Bloomfield, whose body was found in a ditch outside Rockford, Ill., in September 1997.

Bloomfield was extradited to Iowa to face a first-degree murder charge. Investigators believe she was strangled at the couple's Iowa City home.

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