GRANGEVILLE, Idaho -- A 27-year-old north-central Idaho woman has pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder in the beating death of another woman.

KLEW-TV reports Tara Rose Mendenhall of Elk City entered her plea Tuesday. She is charged with beating 44-year-old Lora Vandenberg unconscious on Sept. 24. Witnesses said Mendenhall accused Vandenberg of stealing makeup, jewelry and a music player. Vandenberg died of bleeding on the brain on Oct. 5.

During her preliminary hearing, Mendenhall's attorney suggested a beating Vandenberg suffered on Sept. 7 could have contributed to her death. Vandenberg's boyfriend, 69-year-old Bernard Platz of Elk City, is charged with attempted strangulation and domestic battery for that reported attack.

Mendenhall remains jailed on $250,000 bail. Her next court date is Dec. 9.

Read or Share this story: