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Appeals Court Decision Vacated, Murder Convictions Affirmed for Two Men in Beating Case

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Yarvon Russell and James Shorter (WHO-HD)

DES MOINES, Iowa – The Iowa Supreme Court has vacated an appeals court ruling granting two men originally convicted of murder new trials. The ruling also affirms the original convictions.

The court issued its rulings Friday morning in the cases of James Shorter and Yarvon Russell. Both were convicted of 2nd degree murder in the 2013 beating death of Richard Daughenbaugh.

They appealed the convictions and in June of 2016 the Iowa Court of Appeals overturned them and called for new trials after finding the prosecution’s joint criminal conduct theory unsupported by substantial evidence.

The Iowa Supreme Court granted further review to the case and Friday vacated the Iowa Court of Appeals’ decision and affirmed the district court’s judgement.

Another man convicted in the case, Kent Tyler III, was awarded a new trial by the Iowa Court of Appeals in January of 2016. Tyler threw the first punch in the fight and the court ruled he couldn’t have reasonably known his actions would lead to Daughenbaugh’s death.

A fourth man, Leprese Williams, was acquitted of first degree murder in the case.