A second jury now has the task to determine if Vern Huser is guilty or not of first degree murder.
Huser is accused of hiring a hitman in 2004 to kill Lance Morningstar who was having an affair with his wife.
A jury convicted him in 2010 but the Iowa Court of Appeals granted Huser a new trial in 2011.
After four weeks of testimony, attorneys both gave their closing arguments Monday. Huser’s fate is now in the hands of the jury.
Both the prosecution and defense gave their side of a events for a crime that happened nearly a decade ago.
The prosecution laid out their case accusing Huser of first degree murder and began by quoting Huser’s own statements.
“’I’m going to kill him, I’m going to take him out,’ those were the threats that Vern Huser made. Vern Huser’s intent was clear, he wanted Lance Morningstar dead,” prosecutor Mike Salvner said.
The prosecution claims Huser got jealous and upset after he found out about the affair between his wife and Morningstar, saying the two were friends. And it was that betrayal led him to hire Louis Woolheater to kill Morningstar.
“The affair between his wife that he had been with for nearly 20 years and his friend devastated him and he couldn’t move on. He was obsessed, he was obsessed about talking about Lance Morningstar, he was obsessed about finding Lance Morningstar and obsessed about harming Lance Morningstar,” Salvner added.
However, Huser’s defense has a different story and maintains Huser had nothing to do with the crime.
They claim Huser and Morningstar were never friends and that Huser got over the affair after about a month.
“Vern Huser is not guilty, Vern Huser is innocent,” defense attorney Alfredo Parrish said.
They also say no physical evidence has ever been presented during the trial that links Huser to the crime or the person who committed it.
“There is absolutely no evidence in this trial on a single conversation, meeting or any communication what so ever between Vern Huser and Woolheater where a plan was made to kill Mr. Morningstar,” Parrish said.
The jury has four options while deliberating this case. They can find Huser guilty of first degree murder, second degree murder, voluntary manslaughter or not guilty at all.