Court denies Heemstra's appeal - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Court denies Heemstra's appeal


DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The Iowa Court of Appeals has upheld the voluntary manslaughter conviction of a central Iowa farmer who killed his neighbor and hid the body in a cistern.

The Wednesday decision came a day after Rodney Heemstra was released after serving more than four years.

Heemstra, of Milo, was originally convicted of first-degree murder. He appealed and the Iowa Supreme Court ordered a new trial.

Last year, a jury found Heemstra guilty of voluntary manslaughter for killing Tom Lyon in January 2003 and he was sentenced to 10 years.

In his appeal, Heemstra argued that the district court erred when it denied his motion to dismiss the voluntary manslaughter trial because of double jeopardy and other issues.

The appeals court ruled the Supreme Court's decision didn't bar a retrial on a theory of premeditation.

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