Cordova man's killer sentenced to life in prison


Share
Posted Online: April 29, 2013, 5:44 pm
Comment on this story | Print this story | Email this story
By Vanessa Miller, The Gazette
Moments before being sentenced to spend the rest of his life in prison, Justin Marshall turned to the family of John Versypt of Cordova.

"I am innocent," Mr. Marshall said during his sentencing hearing Friday. "I don't know who did this, who did such a horrific act to someone else … and I'm sorry for your guys' loss."

But, he repeated, he's innocent.

Turning back to Johnson County District Court Judge Sean McPartland, Mr. Marshall received his inevitable life sentence in prison. His attorney, Thomas Gaul, made no statements on his behalf as state law mandates a life term for a first-degree murder conviction.

Immediately after Mr. Marshall's hearing, one of his two co-defendants, Courtney White, 25, pleaded guilty to tampering with witnesses or jurors. His first-degree murder charge will be dropped and he will be released from jail pending paperwork with an old probation violation.

Mr. White has been in jail on the murder charge for about 18 months. Court documents indicate the amount of time he has served exceeds what he would have spent in prison on the tampering charge.

Charles Thompson, 20, was the first person arrested on murder charges in the shooting. His case ended in a mistrial; he pleaded guilty to a lesser charge earlier this year and was sentenced to time served earlier.

Mr. Marshall was convicted Feb. 6 of first-degree murder after police said he tried to rob Mr. Versypt on Oct. 8, 2009, shooting him in the hand and the head. Mr. Versypt, the landlord of an Iowa City apartment complex, was hanging no-smoking and no-loitering signs when he was killed, police said.

Before Mr. Marshall;s sentencing, Mr. Versypt's wife, Janet, spoke of the pain she has endured in the loss of her "husband, best friend and favorite travel companion."

"He was a hard worker and a great landlord, as he tried to help others have a safe and comfortable home," she said. "I am so mad he was killed trying to keep others safe."


















 



Local events heading








  Today is Friday, April 18, the 108th day of 2014. There are 257 days left in the year.
1864 -- 150 years ago: A new steamer, Keithsburg, now is at our levee taking on board the balance of her fixtures preparatory to assuming her position on the daily Rock Island and Keokuk line.
1889 -- 125 years ago: C.W. Hawes was appointed deputy county clerk by county clerk Donaldson.
1914 -- 100 years ago: Mrs. O.E. child, of Moline, was named president of the Women's Home Missionary Society of the Methodist Church Rock Island District of the Central Illinois conference.
1939 -- 75 years ago: Augustana College is making plans for a drive for funds to erect a field house and make football field improvements.
1964 -- 50 years ago: A expanded election coverage system featuring a 16-foot chalkboard showing up to the minute running totals, attracted a large and enthusiastic crowd to The Argus newsroom last night.
1989 -- 25 years ago: Balloons frame Rock Island attorney Stewart Winstein who was given a surprise party in the rotunda of the Rock Island County Courthouse on Thursday to honor his 50th year of practicing law.




(More History)