North Iowa murderer loses his appeal

Washington, Tyrone 08-08-2013

DES MOINES, Iowa – The man convicted of a killing a woman in Northwood has lost his appeal.

42-year-old Tyrone Washington Jr. was found guilty in October, 2015, of 1st degree murder in the death of Justina Smith.  Authorities say the two met at Swensrud Park in August, 2013, and Washington stabbed Smith twice.

In his appeal, Washington argued there was insufficient evidence to support his conviction, his trial counsel was ineffective and says the district court should have allowed his motion to strike a second jury panel.

The Iowa Court of Appeals has rejected all of those arguments.  It has ruled there was “sufficient evidence” that Washington intended to kill Smith, stating that even if Washington’s claim that Smith brought the knife and attacked him was true, he then said he disarmed her.  Rather than throwing the knife aside or running away, however, Washington stabbed Smith twice and inflicted multiple other injuries, all while sustaining no injuries himself or any damage to his clothes.

The Court stated “Washington’s claim of self-defense is not supported by the physical evidence” and pointed out that while Washington claims Smith was stabbed when she fell during a scuffle, he has never been able to explain the second stab wound.

As for Washington’s claim about the jury, the Court of Appeals says his complaints about minorities being underrepresented does not prove either a statutory or Constitutional violation.

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