Cordova man's killer sentenced to life in prison


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Posted Online: April 29, 2013, 5:44 pm
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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."


















 



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  Today is Tuesday, July 29, the 210th day of 2014. There are 155 days left in the year.

1864 -- 150 years ago: Col. H.F. Sickless informs us that there will be new organization of troops in this state under the call for more men.
1889 -- 125 years ago: James Normoyle arrived home after graduating from West Point with honors in the class of 1889. He was to report to Fort Brady, Mich., as second lieutenant in the 23rd Infantry.
1914 -- 100 years ago: Austria Hungary declared war on Serbia. Germany and Austria refused an invitation of Sir Edward Grey to join Great Britain at a mediation conference.
1939 -- 75 years ago: Dr. William Mayo, the last of the three famous Mayo brother surgeons, died at the age of 78.
1964 -- 50 years ago: One of the biggest horse shows of the season was held yesterday at Hillandale Arena on Knoxville Road under the sponsorship of the Illowa Horsemen's Club.
1989 -- 25 years ago: Davenport is like a gigantic carnival this weekend with the Bix Arts Fest taking over 12 square blocks of the downtown area. A festive atmosphere prevailed Friday as thousands of people turned out to sample what the Arts Fest has to offer.








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