dcx-02242021-nws-Buelow

Fontae C. Buelow is escorted during his sentencing hearing in Dubuque in 2018.

The new trial for a Dubuque man accused of killing his girlfriend will not be held in Dubuque County.

Iowa District Court Judge Monica Wittig recently approved a motion for a change of venue filed on behalf of Fontae C. Buelow, 29, in the Iowa District Court for Dubuque County.

Buelow is accused of killing his girlfriend, Samantha J. Link, 21, of Peosta, Iowa, on March 31, 2017, and he now is charged with second-degree murder. Authorities said Buelow fatally stabbed Link during an argument, while Buelow argued that Link stabbed herself and caused her own death.

He originally was charged with first-degree murder, but jurors in January 2018 found him guilty of second-degree murder.

Late last year, the Iowa Supreme Court upheld a state Court of Appeals ruling vacating Buelow’s conviction and entitling him to a new trial. The appeals court ruled that records detailing Link’s mental health struggles should not have been excluded as evidence.

Earlier this month, Buelow’s attorneys filed for a change of venue due to heavy coverage of the previous trial, conviction and appeals. Prosecutors did not oppose that request.

“The trial in this matter shall be moved to a venue that provides a fair and impartial trial process,” stated Wittig in her order.

Court officials will “(analyze) the demographics and courtroom specifications and dockets of the counties within Iowa that are most capable of accommodating the trial process” to determine where the proceedings will be held.

Buelow’s trial currently is scheduled for May 25.