Roider found not guilty

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Pictured is Kyle Roider shortly after being found not guilty on two charges related to the 2019 death of Steven Becker.

Shortly after 6 p.m. Friday, Kyle Roider was given life-changing news: He does not have to spend another night in jail. 

Roider, a 33-year-old Waterloo native, was charged with first degree murder and aggravated battery with a firearm in connection with the January 2019 death of 35-year-old Steven Becker in Waterloo. He was held in the Monroe County Jail without bail for over 2.5 years while awaiting trial. 

The verdict read not guilty of first degree murder and not guilty of aggravated battery with a firearm. The jury reached their verdict after approximately 3.5 hours of deliberation. 

Roider had taken the stand earlier Friday as the defense’s first and only witness.

“Kyle had told us that he thought he’d be nervous, but then he told himself all he had to do was tell the truth, and then he wasn’t nervous at all going into today’s proceedings,” Karen Roider, Kyle Roider’s mother, told the Republic-Times after the verdict.

Defense attorney T.J. Matthes said for Roider, testifying was of utmost importance. 

“He wanted to get up there and tell the jurors what happened and he always wanted to do that from day one,” Matthes said. “From day one, he was saying that this was self defense.”

As of Friday night, Monroe County State’s Attorney Lucas Liefer could not be reached for comment.  

Check back for more on this story as it becomes available, and see next week’s print issue for a detailed trial recap.

To read more about Friday’s earlier proceedings, including Roider’s testimony and closing arguments, click here.

For more coverage on this court case, click here.

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