Court Affirms Cedar Falls Murder Conviction

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By Aaron Hepker

CEDAR FALLS, Iowa (AP) — The Iowa Court of Appeals has affirmed a Cedar Falls man's murder conviction in the stabbing death of a student.

The court ruled Thursday that Joseph Leo Johnson's murder conviction should stand.

The Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier reports Johnson was convicted of first-degree murder in the 2006 death of 18-year-old Treye Blythe, a Hawkeye Community College student.

Authorities say Blythe died of a stab wound after a fight at a party in Cedar Falls.

Johnson, who is now 27, appealed, arguing his lawyer wasn't effective because he didn't object to rhetorical questions made by the prosecutor. He says his lawyer also shouldn't have withdrawn a self-defense claim.

The court found the prosecutor's questions were OK and that Johnson didn't have grounds for a self-defense claim because he'd denied stabbing Blyth.

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