Jurors hear Versypt murder investigation started with few leads


Share
Originally Posted Online: Jan. 25, 2013, 8:00 pm
Last Updated: Jan. 25, 2013, 9:08 pm
Comment on this story | Print this story | Email this story
By Vanessa Miller, The Gazette

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.

















 



Local events heading








  Today is Saturday, Aug. 2, the 214th day of 2014. There are 151 days left in the year.

1864 -- 150 years ago: Because of the National Fast, no paper will be issued from this office tomorrow.
1889 -- 125 years ago: Attracting considerable attention is a sunflower stalk 15 feet high and still growing in the yard of Dr. C. Speidel on 23rd Street in Rock Island.
1914 -- 100 years ago: The municipal bathing beach proposition came up again at the city commission's meeting and a proposition passed, provided that a locker room be constructed at the foot of 7th Street for the accommodation of the bathers.
1939 -- 75 years ago: Plans for erecting a $14,000 warehouse to replace the frame structure at the rear of the Augustana Book Concern were announced.
1964 -- 50 years ago: Hours for tours of the new Deere & Co. Administrative Center on John Deere Road will be changed, effective Monday.
1989 -- 25 years ago: Tuesday night at the Great Mississippi Valley Fair in Davenport the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band gave its fans more than they possibly could have expected. The band took the stage at 9:07 p.m. and didn't leave until 10:40.









(More History)