Suspect in landlord murder pushes for delayed trial


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Johnson County Judge Sean McPartland said he would rule by today on a motion to delay the trial of a man accused of first-degree murder in the slaying of a local landlord.

Justin Marshall is accused of murder in connection with the October 2009 death of Broadway Apartments landlord John Versypt.

During a hearing Monday at the Johnson County Courthouse, Marshall’s attorney Thomas Gaul said he wanted to the delay the trial primarily because of his belief that Marshall was interrogated after he invoked his right to remain silent. However, Johnson County prosecutor Janet Lyness said a motion to suppress that piece of evidence has not been filed.

“In my opinion, police acknowledge during depositions given during last week that they continued to interrogate Mr. Marshall after he invoked his right to remain silent,” Gaul said during the hearing.

During depositions, the officer acknowledged Marshall told him, “I don’t want to talk anymore, and yet we keep talking,” at an interrogation.

Assistant County Attorney Meredith Rich-Chappel countered by stating that the video in question was available to Gaul “for some time now.” McPartland also questioned Gaul by asking if Marshall’s original attorney, Steven Addington, had access to the video in question. Gaul responded that he did and confirmed to the judge that he and Addington work in the same building.

Marshall spoke briefly during the hearing, stating that the communication between him and Gaul was “getting better.”

McPartland on Monday also addressed whether Marshall was satisfied with his new counsel. Gaul previously replaced Marshall’s first attorney, Steven Addington, according to online court documents.

Marshall said he was satisfied with his representation.

Gaul also defended his request for a delay by explaining Marshall’s case might “bleed over” into another criminal case in Council Bluffs in which he is involved.

Marshall was originally a material witness in the trial of Charles William Curtis Thompson. After the Iowa Supreme Court affirmed his release, Marshall went to Texas before being arrested and extradited back to Iowa to face his current charges.

McPartland concluded the hearing by suspending the deadline to file motions and said that the new deadline would be 48 hours after his ruling on the motion to delay.

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