Fairfax man will be retried in January for 2008 slaying

Bush convicted of first-degree murder in Horvath death, but verdict appealed successfully

Trish Mehaffey
Published: September 24 2012 | 9:55 am - Updated: 1 April 2014 | 12:54 am in
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The retrial of Jacovan Bush on a first-degree murder charge has been reset for early next year.

Bush, 23, of Fairfax, who was convicted by a jury in November 2008 for shooting and killing Thomas Horvath, 19, of Cedar Rapids, during a fist fight between rival friends in April 2008, will be retried Jan. 28, 2013 in Linn County District Court.

Bush was granted an appeal last year, based on inadmissible evidence submitted in the first trial. The prosecution called three witnesses during the trial who identified Bush as the shooter in statements to police after the incident, but then recanted those statements prior to trial. Linn County Attorney Jerry Vander Sanden told the court he was calling them only for  impeachment purposes, to prove Bush was the shooter.

The defense argued those witnesses’ statements were inadmissible, but the judge allowed them. The Iowa Court of Appeals granted the appeal, and the Iowa Supreme Court denied a further review from the state in 2011.

Horvath was shot in the abdomen and head during the fight, which started out over a broken car light, according to court testimony.

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