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Appeals Court Upholds Linn County Murder Conviction

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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa - An Iowa appeals court has upheld the conviction of a Linn County man charged with killing a woman nearly 4 years ago.

In November 2011, a Linn County jury convicted Jerome Power of strangling 68-year-old Doris Bevins. In September 2010, police found Bevins unconscious on the floor of her home. She died the next day.

During his trial Power held up signs accusing another man of the murder, and dumped a glass of water on his attorney’s head.

In his appeal, Power argued prosecutors didn’t offer enough evidence to support his conviction, his trial counsel did not provide effective assistance, and the Linn County court abused its discretion by giving a supplemental jury instruction and denying his request for substitute counsel.

The appeals court ruled there was substantial evidence to show Power strangled Bevins with specific intent to kill. The court also found the district court did not abuse its discretion. But it did preserve Power’s claim of ineffective-assistance, allowing for possible further proceedings.

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