Iowa man found guilty of killing college basketball player

A jury has convicted an Oskaloosa man of stabbing to death a college basketball player.

Posted: Apr 16, 2019 11:48 AM

DAWSON, Iowa (AP) — A jury has convicted an Oskaloosa man of stabbing to death a college basketball player.

Mahaska County District Court records say 24-year-old Luke VanHemert was found guilty Monday of second-degree murder. His sentencing is scheduled for June 27.

VanHemert's lawyers had argued that he was defending himself when he killed 22-year-old William Penn player Marquis Todd during a fight after a car crash in March 2018. They said VanHemert should have been exempt from prosecution because of Iowa's "stand your ground" law. The law enacted in 2017 says a person doesn't have to retreat before using deadly force if he or she reasonably thinks his or her life is being threatened.

But the judge said that law didn't apply in VanHemert's case and ordered him to go on trial.

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