Appeals court upholds murder conviction
WASHINGTON, Iowa (GTNS) – The Iowa Court of Appeals affirmed Thomas Lee Hansen Sr.’s conviction on Wednesday.
Hansen appealed his November 2012 conviction of second-degree murder. A Washington County jury found him guilty of killing Sharon Kay Gerot. Hansen shot her on May 1, 2011, the jury found.
He challenged his conviction arguing “the sufficiency of evidence of malice aforethought to support the conviction.” He said his statement to police after the shooting and testimony claimed he only meant to scare Gerot. He also said there was error in instructing the jury, which included certain testimony, and objected to the “chain of custody” of the handgun found at the scene of the shooting. He also motioned for a new trial.
The Iowa Court of Appeals ruled there was enough evidence to prove Hansen did have “malice” when he shot Gerot. The court also said there wasn’t any error in instructing the jury and didn’t deny his right to due process with the law.
Hansen argued the handgun and shell casing found at the scene weren’t turned over to the proper authorities involved in the investigation and there was a time they were unaccounted for. The court said there was no evidence of Hansen’s argument.
Since the evidence didn’t go against Hansen’s guilty verdict from the jury, the court denied his motion for a new trial. He will continue to serve his 50-year sentence.