Iowa man convicted of homicide to appear in court

Published 9:50 am Thursday, October 29, 2015

A hearing is scheduled for Friday morning in Northwood for a motion for a new trial from a Northwood man convicted of killing his ex-girlfriend in August 2013.

Tyrone Washington Jr., 41, requested a new trial in August after a jury found him guilty of first-degree murder in the stabbing death of Justina Smith.

Tyrone Washington Jr.

Tyrone Washington Jr.

Worth County District Court Judge Colleen Weiland will decide whether to grant or deny Washington’s motion. If the motion is denied, the case will proceed to sentencing.

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Washington’s lawyer, Charles Kenville, in court documents filed in August, argued his client was acting in self-defense when he stabbed Smith, 30, also of Northwood in Swensrud Park. He said the verdict was contrary to the evidence presented at trial and questioned the credibility of some of the prosecution’s witnesses.

Smith’s body was found near Swensrud Park on Aug. 5, 2013.

Kenville said there was no evidence that established that Washington possessed the knife involved in the stabbing prior to the altercation with Smith, and there wasn’t enough evidence showing Washington acted with premeditation.

The hearing is slated to begin at 10 a.m.

About Sam Wilmes

Sam Wilmes covers crime, courts and government for the Albert Lea Tribune.

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