Iowa City man arrested for second-degree murder - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Iowa City man arrested for second-degree murder

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IOWA CITY (KWWL) - An Iowa City man was jailed Sunday, after police say he killed a man he was playing chess with. Police say 29-year old David Christian is responsible for the death of 39-year old Michael Alan Steward. The incident happened at 418 Brown Street in apartment 6, at around 3:08 in the morning. Emergency personnel took Steward to Mercy Hospital, where he was declared dead.

An investigation revealed Christian and Steward were in a verbal dispute over a game of chess, which escalated into physical fight.  Christian told police he wrapped his legs around Steward's neck and choked him until he was unconscious.  Christian performed CPR on Steward, but was unable to revive him.

Christian's next-door neighbor was shocked to hear about what happened.

"I don't really know how to feel right now," said Jessie Witherell. "He seemed pretty quiet. He didn't talk to anyone. Witherell says she lived next door to Christian for about 8 months, and never experienced any problems with him. She says he occasionally had parties, and remembers that he did spend some of his time hanging out with Steward. "As far as I knew, they were kind of friends, but they would get into tiffs every now and then."

Jeff Nerad lives across street, and doesn't recall anything like this ever happening in his mostly-quiet neighborhood. "I've lived here five years," he told us, "and I've never seen any violence whatsoever, not even any vandalism."

Police expect to have the results of Steward's autopsy early this week. Anyone with additional information on this case are asked to call Iowa City police immediately.

Online Reporter: Brady Smith
Online Producers: Nate Leding & Mike Verlo

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