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Courtroom Overcrowding Pushes Back North Liberty Man’s Sentencing

JOHNSON COUNTY, Iowa  --  A murder-for-hire sentencing in North Liberty has been pushed back due to a lack of courtroom space.

Justin DeWitt is being sentenced for allegedly planning to have a family of four killed over a bad business deal. He pleaded guilty to two of those counts in May. DeWitt's sentencing was supposed to take place on Monday, but every single one of the courtrooms at the Johnson County Courthouse were full.

Johnson County Attorney Janet Lyness says the courthouse has had issues with overcrowding for years.

"We don't have adequate courtroom space in the courthouse. It's necessitated my office having to eventually move out of the courthouse so we can put some more courtrooms in here, but unfortunately we're renting that space and it's not a long term solution," Lyness said.

DeWitt is awaiting trial in Muscatine County on additional attempted murder charges for allegedly arranging a second murder-for-hire plot. That trial is set for December.