IOWA CITY — In the hours and days after John Versypt's shooting death in south Iowa City, officers processed the crime scene and sent numerous pieces of evidence to the state lab for testing.
But, one by one, hopeful avenues for potential leads reached dead ends. There were no fresh footprints outside the crime scene and no fingerprints on a nearby railing, according to testimony on Friday in Justin Marshall's first-degree murder trial.
A revolver found at the scene, along with five casings, a live bullet and Mr. Versypt's wallet, also were checked for fingerprints but nothing was found.
Hours after the fatal shooting on Oct. 8, 2009, officers canvassed the area around the Broadway Condominium complex in south Iowa City for evidence, but found nothing of significance. Even tapping two men with wires to try and catch some conversation from Mr. Marshall and his co-defendant Charles Thompson about the shooting came up dry, according to Iowa City police Sgt. Zachary Dierson.
"Nothing of value was gleaned from that interaction," Sgt. Dierson testified on Friday.
The 16 jurors selected to hear the first-degree murder case against Mr. Marshall spent most of Friday listening to testimony from medical experts, evidence analysts and investigators and officers who were at the crime scene or followed up with the investigation.
Defense attorneys tried to poke holes in the prosecution's case on Friday by asking questions about the integrity of the evidence collected and by noting the lack of physical evidence against their client.
According to police, Mr. Versypt, of Cordova, was a landlord for units in the Broadway Condominiums and was checking on his properties when he was shot in the head during an attempted robbery in October 2009. Mr. Thompson, 20, was the first person to be arrested in the case in February 2010, followed by Mr. Marshall, 22, in July 2011 and Courtney White, 25, in October 2011.
Mr. White and Mr. Marshall face first-degree murder charges. If convicted, they face life sentences in prison. Mr. Thompson originally was charged with first-degree murder, but his case ended in a mistrial. After the mistrial, Mr. Thompson pleaded guilty to a lesser charge in exchange for his promise to testify against Mr. Marshall.
He has not yet taken the stand in Mr. Marshall's trial.
Today is Saturday, April 19, the 109th day of 2014. There are 256 days left in the year.
1864 -- 150 years ago: Miss McCorkindale has opened millinery rooms over Gimbel's dry goods store, where she offers a choice lot of millinery goods, which she will manufacture to order. 1889 -- 125 years ago: The little South Park Presbyterian chapel celebrated it first Easter decorated with flowers for an afternoon worship service attended by a large congregation. 1914 -- 100 years ago: The Wennerberg Chorus of Augustana College has returned from a 2,000-mile tour in the Eastern states and Illinois. 1939 -- 75 years ago: Col. Charles Lindbergh has stated that he is convinced that Germany's air force is equal to the combined sky fleets of her potential European foes. 1964 -- 50 years ago: Small gas motors may be permitted on boats in the lake to be built in Loud Thunder Forest Preserve. The prospect was discussed yesterday at a meeting of the Rock Island County Forest Preserve Commission. 1989 -- 25 years ago: The annual Dispatch/Rock Island Argus Spelling Bee continues to be a family tradition. Ed Lee, an eighth-grader at John Deere Junior High School, Moline, is the 1989 spelling bee champion from among 49 top spellers in Rock Island, Henry and Mercer counties. He advances to the competition in Washington, D.C. Runnerup was Ed's sister, Susan.