DES MOINES, Iowa — The Iowa Court of Appeals has affirmed Vernon Huser’s first degree murder conviction.
Huser was found guilty in Polk County court in 2013 of the murder of Lance Morningstar. Prosecutors say he hired Louis Woolheater, who is serving a life sentence for the murder, to kill Morningstar because of an affair Huser’s ex-wife had with Morningstar while she and Huser were still married.
Huser was found guilty in his first trial in 2010 but won a new trial on appeal in 2011.
The second trial also resulted in a guilty verdict and Huser appealed again. He claimed the district court abused its discretion in denying his motions for mistrial based on the admission of“backdoor” hearsay statements used during testimony. He also claimed he should have been allowed to offer evidence from an alleged co-conspirator of Woolheater’s that would offer a motive for murder independent of Huser. In his appeal he challenged the sufficiency of the evidence to convict him as well.
The court disagreed in its ruling, saying the district court did not abuse its discretion in denying the mistrial motions and there was sufficient evidence for a conviction in the case.
Huser is serving a life sentence in prison.
Read the entire ruling here.