Becker appeal heard by Iowa Supreme Court - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Becker appeal heard by Iowa Supreme Court


A case that gripped eastern Iowa was back in court Thursday. Mark Becker, the man who shot and killed Aplington-Parkersburg Head Football Coach Ed Thomas, had his case up for review by the Iowa Supreme Court.

Mark Becker was sentenced to life in prison for the murder of Ed Thomas in April 2010. On Thursday, in front of law students at Drake University the Supreme Court took up his appeal.

At the center of this appeal hearing was whether the jury should have gotten more information about the future of Mark Becker if he was found not guilty by reason of insanity.

Becker's defense attorney, Martha Lacey, argues the jury should have been told more, but under Iowa court rules the jury only determines guilt and not punishment.

"There was a no limited instruction if you want to compare it to that, that tells the jury it's okay he's not going to be set free right away," said Lacey.

Supreme Court Justice Daryl Hecht questioned Assistant Attorney General Darrel Mullins about the lack of information and what choice the jury had if Becker was found not guilty.

"Were they really able to find him insane without that information? Could they take that chance?" asked Hect.

"The nature of the questions you posed have put up well past the determinative question that this court has to answer and that is, is there a constitutional right to this instruction?" responded Mullins.

The Iowa appeals court ruled with the district court late last year. The Iowa Supreme Court will issue their ruling at a later date.

Aaron Thomas, the son of the late Ed Thomas, says he hopes this legal issue is resolved soon and he and his family can finally move on.

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