Defense attacks investigation into landlord’s death

Man who found John Versypt testifies he agreed to wear a wire; click here to replay trial coverage

Vanessa Miller
Published: January 24 2013 | 5:45 pm - Updated: 28 March 2014 | 10:31 am in
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IOWA CITY — The man who called 911 on Oct. 8, 2009, after finding John Versypt 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 Thursday in Marshall’s murder trial that he agreed to wear a wire for investigators. Shepard said that 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 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 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, 2009. Bossard said he was the first officer on scene but doesn’t remember exactly 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 Thursday that he moved the wallet — before pictures of the crime scene were taken — to find the viticm’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 Friday.

If Marshall is convicted of first-degree murder in the 2009 shooting death of Versypt in south Iowa City, he faces a life sentence in prison.


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