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Appeals Court Upholds 2nd Degree Murder Conviction

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RIVERSIDE, Iowa - A Washington County man will continue serving a 50 year sentence for murder after the Iowa Court of Appeals upheld his conviction.

A jury last year found 73-year-old Thomas Hansen, Senior guilty of 2nd degree murder. Hansen is the former Johnson County Emergency management Coordinator.

Hansen shot his girlfriend, Sharon Gerot, while she was mowing the lawn outside their home in May of 2011. During his trial, Hansen said he fired the gun only to scare Gerot because they were fighting, but he accidentally shot her in the head.

Hansen asked for a new trial, arguing there wasn't enough evidence to show malice and there was error in instructing the jury. He also argued evidence had been improperly handled.

The Appeals Court disagreed.