IOWA CITY, Iowa — The trial of a man accused in the shooting death of an Iowa City landlord will not move forward until the U.S. Supreme Court decides whether the case should be reviewed.
Iowa District Judge Sean McPartland granted a stay Friday in Justin Marshall’s trial until the country’s highest court decides on a petition for review filed by the Iowa Attorney General’s office in September, the Iowa City Press-Citizen reported (http://icp-c.com/2dUYT5f ).
In 2013, Marshall was convicted in the 2009 shooting death of Iowa City apartment complex landlord John Versypt, 64, who was gunned down in a stairway at the Broadway Condominiums in southeast Iowa City. Police and prosecutors said it was a robbery gone awry.
But Marshall’s conviction was overturned, and the Iowa Supreme Court ruled in a split decision earlier this year that he should get a new trial because authorities relied on the testimony of a jailhouse informant, violating Marshall’s right to an attorney.
The case upheld court precedent that jailhouse informants violate a defendant’s rights when the informant is working on behalf of police or prosecutors to get information about a crime.
In Marshall’s case, the Iowa Supreme Court noted there were no eyewitnesses or physical evidence against him and the case centered on jailhouse informants.
At the behest of officials, a jailhouse informant placed in a cell next to Marshall’s convinced him to write down details in which Marshall admitted to accidentally shooting the landlord.
Information from: Iowa City Press-Citizen, http://www.press-citizen.com/