Man enters not guilty plea following death of Iowa pastor

Police in Iowa have arrested a man who they say killed the pastor of a church in Fort Dodge. Joshua Pendleton has been charged with 1st-degree murder and 1st-degree robbery. (NBC)

FORT DODGE, Iowa (AP) - A man has pleaded not guilty to allegations that he beat a pastor to death outside a central Iowa church.

Webster County court records say 36-year-old Joshua Pendleton entered pleas Monday to charges of robbery and first-degree murder. His trial is scheduled to begin Dec. 10.

Officers sent to St. Paul Lutheran Church in Fort Dodge on Oct. 2 found the Rev. Allen Henderson lying unresponsive outside. Henderson was pronounced dead at a local hospital.

Police say security footage shows a man who officers identified as Pendleton trying to get into the building. Police say Pendleton later acknowledged to investigators that he had fought with a man at the church.

The 64-year-old Henderson was senior pastor at St. Paul and had served as a chaplain to area first responders.