First of Three Charged in Iowa City Murder Sentenced to Time Served, Fines

By Vanessa Miller, Reporter

IOWA CITY, Iowa - One of three men originally charged with murder in the 2009 shooting death of John Versypt in south Iowa City has been sentenced to jail time already served and $1,325 in fines and court costs.

That means Charles Thompson, originally charged with first-degree murder in the high-profile homicide, will serve no additional time behind bars in connection with the case.

Thompson, 20, was the first person arrested on a first-degree murder charge for the Oct. 8, 2009 killing. His case went to trial in October 2011, but it ended in a mistrial after prosecutors inadvertently submitted inadmissible evidence to jurors.

Following the mistrial, Thompson pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of accessory after the fact in exchange for his promise to testify against co-defendant Justin Marshall, 22. During Marshall's first-degree murder trial earlier this month, Thompson testified that he was in his bedroom during the shooting, and Marshall barged in acting "frantic" and reporting that someone had been shot in the hallway.

Thompson also testified that Marshall changed his clothes and put them in a trash bag that he later discarded in a Dumpster. Marshall was convicted of first-degree murder on Feb. 7, and he faces a life sentence in prison.

Thompson, first arrested in February 2010, has been out of custody since December 2011, when he pleaded guilty to the lesser charge. Late Thursday, a judge sentenced him to two years in prison.

"Credit is to be given for time previously served in jail on this charge," according to the judge's order. "The Iowa Medical and Classification Center at Oakdale has advised that (Thompson) has served more time than is required to discharge his sentence."

County Attorney Janet Lyness said that even though Thompson hasn't served a full two years behind bars, the classification center decided his sentence could be discharged because he most likely would have received a reduction for good behavior.

Because Thompson can't afford to pay the fines and fees right now, he has been ordered to comply with a payment schedule of $50 a month beginning March 13, according to the court order.

According to police, Versypt, 64, of Cordova, Ill., was a landlord for units in the Broadway Condominium complex in south Iowa City. He was on the property Oct. 8, 2009, to hang no smoking and no loitering signs when he was held up in an attempted robbery and then shot through the hand and the head, according to police.

Courtney White, 25, was the third person to be arrested on first-degree murder charges in connection with the case. He's scheduled to be tried May 1.
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