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While you were away

BY DI STAFF | MARCH 25, 2013 5:00 AM

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Man convicted of first-degree murder requests new trial

A man convicted of first-degree murder for the slaying of a former landlord has requested a new trial.

Justin Marshall, 22, was found guilty on Feb. 7 of the October 2009 murder of John Versypt, the former landlord of Broadway Condominiums.

Marshall lived at the Broadway Condominiums with his aunt, cousins, and Charles Thompson, who was dating one of Marshall’s cousins at the time. Thompson was originally suspected in this case, but his trial ended in a mistrial following a mistake made by the prosecution.

Thompson later pleaded guilty to accessory to a felony and signed a document stating Marshall killed Versypt. He testified at Marshall’s trial that minutes after the shooting, Marshall entered their apartment and changed his pants. Thompson said he put his jeans in a Walmart bag, put the Walmart bag in a larger trash bag, and later threw the bag in a Dumpster.

Other former inmates of Marshall’s in the Muscatine County Jail testified that Marshall made numerous confessions of killing Versypt while attempting to discover if he could plead guilty to a lesser charge.

Courtney White is the third suspect in this case. He was charged with first-degree murder on Oct. 3, 2011. According to a police complaint, White allegedly spoke of needing money and potentially committing a robbery a few days before Versypt’s killing.

White can still be put on trial for first-degree murder after Marshall’s conviction, according to the theory of joint criminal conduct.

Marshall’s sentencing is currently set for April 26, and he will face a mandatory sentence of life in prison.

— by Cassidy Riley

Former UI student convicted of sexual abuse files for an appeal

A former University of Iowa student convicted of third-degree sexual abuse has filed for an appeal.

Evan Pfeifer, 20, was found guilty on Nov. 30 of assaulting a woman on the west side of the Pentacrest on Oct. 3, 2010.

The victim testified that she was walking back to her dorm room at Stanley Hall from her sister’s apartment during the early morning with a group of friends. She said she fell behind her friends, and Pfeifer approached her and eventually assaulted her.

He was later sentenced to 10 years of prison. A notice of appeal was presented on March 14.

— by Cassidy Riley

Trial for a man charged with murder of a former landlord has been reset

The trial for the third suspect in the murder case of a former landlord has been reset for the middle of August.

Courtney White was the third man to be accused in the slaying of the former landlord of the Broadway Condominiums, John Versypt.

Charles Thompson was the first suspect. His trial ended in a mistrial due to a mistake made by the prosecution. Justin Marshall was the second suspect; he was tried and convicted of the alleged murder on Feb. 7. Under the theory of joint criminal conduct White can still be tried and convicted for first-degree murder. He was charged with first-degree murder on Oct. 3, 2011.

A witness allegedly told the police that prior to the incident White spoke of needing money and committing a potential robbery. According to a police complaint, a witness allegedly told the police that White was seen leaving the apartment complex a few minutes after Versypt’s body was discovered.

White’s trial has been reset for Aug. 13 at 9 a.m. His pretrial conference is set for April 26.

— by Cassidy Riley

Former UI professor seeks to be reinstated

A former UI professor has asked a judge to reinstate him.

Malik Juweid had been a tenured member of the UI Radiology Department since Oct. 15, 2000.

Juweid was placed on suspension from his position on Jan. 11, 2011, for reportedly subjecting colleagues to verbal abuse through “inflammatory” emails, according to a document acquired by The Daily Iowan.

Juweid filed a lawsuit against the UI, the state Board of Regents, and other UI officials on May 6, 2011. He accused official of acting in retaliation against him after he spoke out against supposed discrimination against Arab-Americans, medical mistreatment of children, and other areas of public significance, according to a court document.

Following suspension, he was fired on Aug. 23 for disruptive behavior in the workplace. Last month the Board of Regents upheld UI President Sally Mason’s decision to fire him. He is now seeking to be reinstated.

— by Cassidy Riley

Council moves forward on amplified sound ordinance

The Iowa City City Council approved the first reading of an ordinance allowing amplified sound in city parks.

The councilors voted 7-0 in favor of the proposal at their March 19 meeting.

The ordinance allows the director of Parks and Recreation Department to approve amplified sound in parks, which is currently not allowed for parades and public assemblies under City Code, unless if the event is a community-wide event that reasonably expects to draw more than 500 persons or occupy a substantial area on the Pedestrian Mall.

An ordinance requires three considerations to pass; the March 19 reading was the first.

— by Nick Hassett

City Park shelter construction approved

The Iowa City City Council approved the construction of a city park shelter on March 19 after a public hearing.

City councilors approved the consideration of a resolution on the measure on a 7-0 vote.

The project would include the construction of an open outdoor park shelter in Lower City Park, including a prefabricated wood and steel shelter structure, with concrete footings and slab.

The estimated cost is $135,000 and would be funded through the Parks Annual Improvements account.

— by Nick Hassett

Council moves forward with development, historical designation of Vine building

The Iowa City City Council held a public hearing on several measures regarding the Vine Tavern building and approved both of them.

At the March 19 meeting, councilors voted 7-0 in favor of both the amendments, the first of three considerations.

The amendments would change rules regarding historic landmarks to allow apartments on or below the street level, as well as designating the Vine building as an Iowa City Historic Landmark.

The Planning and Zoning Commission recommended approval of the first amendment, and the Historic Preservation Commission joined the Planning and Zoning Commission in recommending approval of the historic designation.

— by Nick Hassett


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