Originally Posted Online: Jan. 24, 2013, 10:07 pm
Last Updated: Jan. 25, 2013, 11:56 am
Defense attacks investigation into Cordova man's death
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By Vanessa Miller, The Gazette
Photo: Liz Martin/The Gazette-KCRG|
In this file photo, Justin Marshall (left) talks with defense attorney Thomas Gaul during Marshall's trial for first-degree murder on Thursday, Jan. 24, 2013, at the Johnson County District Courthouse in Iowa City. Marshall is charged with first-degree homicide in the October 2009 shooting death of John Versypt.
IOWA CITY — The man who called 911 on Oct. 8, 2009, after finding John Versypt, of Cordova, gasping for air in an Iowa City condominium building said Justin Marshall seemed to have knowledge about the shooting.
Andrew Shepard, who lived in the Broadway Condominiums where the fatal shooting took place, testified on Thursday in Marshall's murder trial that he agreed to wear a wire for investigators. Shepard said when he was talking with Marshall and Marshall's co-defendant Charles Thompson while wearing the wire, they discussed the crime and the victim's injuries.
During that conversation, Shepard testified, "Justin said he had been shot in the head." Shepard said that at the time, the location of the gunshot wounds was new information to him.
When Shepard described the type of gun he saw near the body, he testified that Marshall said, "I had a gun just like that."
Shepard also testified that what Marshall said about the shooting, "It might have been a conflict gone wrong."
The 16 jurors hearing Marshall's first-degree murder trial, which started on Tuesday and is expected to last 10 days, listened to their first full day of testimony on Thursday.
Janet Versypt, John Versypt's wife, was the prosecution's first witness. They also called several witnesses, including Shepard, and a couple of police officers.
When Iowa City police officer Jeremy Bossard took the stand, defense attorney Thomas Gaul repeatedly asked him questions about the crime scene on Oct. 8. Bossard said he was the first officer on scene, but doesn't exactly remember how the scene looked when he arrived.
He did testify, however, that another officer moved Versypt's wallet between the time he arrived and the time police started taking photos. Gaul criticized that, noting that officers never got an accurate photo of the crime scene.
"Have you seen a police photo with everything in it as you first observed it?" Gaul asked.
Bossard said he hasn't.
Iowa City police officer Andrew Rich testified on Thursday that he moved the wallet — before pictures of the crime scene were taken — to find the victim's driver's license. But, Rich said, he put it back "approximately" where he found it.
More investigators and medical experts are expected to testify today.
Police have saidVersyptwas a landlord for units in the BroadwayCondominiums and was checking on his properties when he was shot inthe head during an attempted robbery.
If Marshall is convicted of first-degree murder, he faces a life sentence in prison.