Wife Says Husband Shot Her Girlfriend When She Threatened to Leave Him
By Trish Mehaffey, Reporter
MARENGO, Iowa – Logan Weldon, 12, in June 2009, testified in a deposition that he saw his father Tonch through a window of their home with a gun, Amy Gephart, who “looked dead” on the couch, and then he saw his father shoot himself in the face.
Logan said that day when he, his sister MacKenzie, his mom and Gephart came home June 7, 2009 his parents started arguing. His dad repeatedly called his mom to see where they were before they got home. He was upset because his mom said she and Gephart were going to be sleeping in the camper that night, Logan said.
“Mom and Dad started arguing and Amy Gephart went into the house,” Logan said. “Dad then told Mackenzie and I to stay in the barn area, and then dad went to the house. Mom followed dad to the house but all of the doors were locked, so Mom had to climb into the living room window. Mom got inside the house through the window, I then heard two gun shots, and I ran into the house to check on everyone and to see what had happened.”
Logan didn’t appear in his father’s first-degree murder trial Thursday but his transcript from the deposition, as well as his sister’s, was read into the court record and the jurors could consider it like other trial testimony.
Weldon, 39, of Blairstown, is accused of shooting and killing Gephart, 35, once in the chest with a 20-gauge shotgun before turning the gun on himself June 7, 2009, in his home.
The prosecution continues its case 9 a.m. Friday in Iowa County District Court. The trial is expected to go into next week.
The defense claims Tonch Weldon was intoxicated and the shooting wasn’t premeditated. Tonch Weldon just “snapped” at that moment, according to Wednesday’s opening statement.
Reporter Trish Mehaffey continues her live blog Friday at http://thegazette.com/ Readers/viewers can follow along, ask questions and provide comments.
MacKenzie Weldon, 10 at the time of the shooting, made similar statements in her deposition but she didn’t see her father shoot himself or Gephart’s body. She didn’t look through the window like Logan.
Amanda Weldon, 35, of Blairstown testified Wednesday she and Tonch argued when they got home about her leaving him for Gephart, who had been their mutual sexual partner. They had an open marriage but Amanda fell in love with Gephart and decided to leave Tonch.
Amanda said during the argument in the barn, Tonch left and went to the house. A few minutes later she went to the house but couldn’t get in. Tonch had locked the doors with him and Gephart inside.
He finally let her in through a window, telling her “I want you to see this,” and then shot Gephart in the chest and then shot himself in the face, Amanda testified.
In other testimony, Iowa County Dep. Dustin Gehring testified about about arriving on the scene after the 911 call. He first saw Logan and MacKenzie Weldon near the road with one of Tonch Weldon’s friends. Logan was hysterical and told him his “daddy” shot a girl and himself.
Dep. Doug Van Bennekom testified about notes Tonch Weldon wrote to his parents the day after the shooting and after surgery on his facial wounds. His mother Barbara Weldon interpreted what Tonch wrote for Van Bennekom.
The notes were shown to the jury but they were difficult to read. One note said “hope Mandi is happy,” another said “rot in hell, Mandi,” Barbara told Van Bennekom, and Van Bennekom said two others said “trigger bitch.”
A criminalist from the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation also testified about DNA evidence found at the scene. Graphic photos of Tonch Weldon and Gephart were shown to the jurors. Most of the blood on the gun matched Tonch Weldon and Gephart.
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