LIVE COVERAGE: Former murder suspect testifies against Justin Marshall

Vanessa Miller
Published: February 1 2013 | 7:02 am - Updated: 28 March 2014 | 10:50 am in
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The first of three men arrested in connection with the 2009 shooting death of John Versypt in Iowa City will return to the witness stand today to testify against his co-defendant, Justin Marshall.

Charles Thompson, 20, took the stand Thursday afternoon to talk about what he was doing on Oct. 8, 2009, when Versypt was killed and what he remembers about Marshall’s actions that day.

Thompson testified that he was playing video games with his pregnant girlfriend in his bedroom when he heard a loud thud, like someone falling. A short time later, he said, Marshall barged into his room acting frantic and said someone had died in the hallway.

Marshall, when interviewed by police shortly after the shooting, gave a similar report about Thompson – saying he came into the apartment shortly after the shooting acting frantic.

Thompson testified on Thursday that he saw Marshall change his clothes and stuff them into a garbage bag, which they threw into a Dumpster that night. Thompson will resume his testimony today, along with other jailhouse “snitches,” as the defense has called them.

Those men served time with Marshall in the Muscatine County Jail and obtained information about his involvement in the Versypt homicide, according to prosecutors.

Versypt, 64, of Cordova, Ill., was a landlord of units in the Broadway Condominium complex in south Iowa City and was checking on his property when he was fatally shot during an attempted robbery in 2009, according to police.

Thompson was the first person to be arrested in the case in February 2010, followed by Marshall, 22, in July 2011 and Courtney White, 25, in October 2011.

All three men originally were charged with first-degree murder. But Thompson’s trial, the first of the three, ended in a mistrial when prosecutors inadvertently presented evidence that was inadmissible.

Following the trial, Thompson agreed to plead guilty to a lesser charge in exchange for his promise to testify against Marshall.

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