New trial set for Charles City killer

Richard Cortez

Man found guilty of 2008 stabbing death gets hearing due to mistaken identity.

Posted: Nov 6, 2017 10:49 AM

CHARLES CITY, Iowa – A convicted killer is getting a new hearing because of a case of mistaken identity.
52-year-old Richard Gilbert Cortez was convicted of 2nd degree murder and two counts of willful injury causing serious injury for a May 16, 2008 incident at Tori’s bar in Charles City. Cortez stabbed three people and one of them, Kenyon Armstrong, later died. Authorities say Cortez’ blood alcohol content was over three times the legal limit when he stabbed his victims.
Cortez was sentenced to up to 50 years for the murder and 10 years for the other stabbings, sentences to run consecutively.
After his conviction, it was discovered that one of the surviving victims, Cyrus Riley, had lied about his identity. Riley’s real name was Barry Holden and he had been convicted of felony crimes in Illinois. Cortez filed a request for post-conviction relief, arguing that if his defense attorney had known the witness’ true identity, it could have been used to attack the credibility of his testimony.
A non-jury trial on this matter has now been scheduled for February 14, 2018 in Floyd County District Court.

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