The first degree murder trial of an Ankeny man is in its third week in a Polk County courtroom.
Vernon Huser is accused of hiring a hitman to kill his ex-wife’s boyfriend.
Tuesday, the state began by calling more witnesses to the stand.
First up was a former girlfriend and long-time friend of murder victim Lance Morningstar, Jacque Wittick. She testified she is the best friend of Huser’s ex-wife, Deb Albizo.
Wittick testified that Huser would call her obsessively about his concerns Deb was cheating on him with Morningstar and told her multiple times he wanted him dead.
“He wanted him to die; he wanted him to be taken out.” Wittick added that Huser said, “’I’m going to put the red dot on his forehead and then put it on Debbie.’”
The defense cross examined Wittick and questioned her knowledge of Morningstar’s side business as a bookie and transactions she might have witnessed.
They also questioned her earlier testimony and say she may have exaggerated the number of calls her and Huser exchanged. When pressed on why she made a false statement under oath in Huser’s previous trial, Wittick responded, “I don’t know.”
A former business associate of Huser’s, Robert Bunce also took the stand and testified that the two talked about the affair between Morningstar and his wife.
“He was mad about it, I mean, not overly mad but he was concerned about it,” Bunce said.
Bunce testified that he went with Huser to look for Morningstar and confront him about the affair.
However, when questioned by the defense Bunce testified he never once heard Huser make threats about harming Morningstar.
This is Huser’s second trial. His original conviction was thrown out because hearsay evidence was used.