MURDER RE-TRIAL: Huser Jury Selection Taking Time

Jury selection in the re-trial of an Ankeny man charged with 1st degree murder will enter its fourth day Thursday.

Vernon Huser is accused of hiring a hit-man to kill his ex-wife’s lover.

Jury selection in the case is taking longer than usual due to the high profile nature of the case having been in and out of the media for nearly a decade.

Some of the potential jurors said they had heard about this case and therefore they must be interviewed individually and that takes extra time.

According to court documents, Huser and his wife started having problems in 2003 and his wife allegedly started having an affair with Lance Morningstar a friend of the couples in the fall of 2003.

Huser confronted his wife about the affair and the two divorced in May of 2004.

In the spring of 2004, Huser met Louis Woolheater who bragged about his training as a sniper and claimed he was a Navy Seal.

Allegedly Huser spoke at work and social gatherings saying he would hire someone to kill Morningstar.

Morningstar was last seen leaving a bar in September of 2004. His body was found by hunters in February 2005.

Woolheater and Huser were arrested for first degree murder and convicted in March of 2010 and October 2010 respectively. Woolheater is currently serving a life sentence.

Huser was given a life sentence. But the Iowa Court Of Appeals granted the 66-year old  a new trial in 2011 on the basis that his conviction was based on hearsay testimony.

Several delays in his re-trial pushed it back until this week.

Jury selection in Huser’s trial started on Monday and it expected to continue into Thursday.