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 Friday, July 25, the 206th day of 2014. There are 159 days left in the year.

1864 -- 150 years ago: Walter Jones, of Co, F 23rd Ky, volunteers, lost a satchel on the Camden road, yesterday, containing his papers of discharge from the army.
1889 -- 125 years ago: E. W. Robinson purchased from Mrs. J.T. Miller the livery stable on the triangle south of Market square.
1914 -- 100 years ago: A municipal; bathing beach was advocated at the weekly meeting of the city commission by commissioner Rudgren, who suggested the foot of Seventh Street as an excellent location.
1939 -- 75 years ago: Floyd Shetter, Rock Island county superintendent schools, announced teachers hired for nearly all of the 95 rural and village grade schools in the county.
1964 -- 50 years ago: The mercury officially reached the season's previous high of 95 about noon today and continued upward toward an expected mark of 97.
1989 -- 25 years ago: Fort Armstrong hotel once the wining and dining chambers of Rock Island's elite is under repair. Progress is being made though at a seeming snail's pace to return the building to a semblance of its past glory for senior citizen's homes.








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