MASON CITY — The Iowa Court of Appeals has affirmed the second-degree murder conviction of a Mason City man.
62-year-old Larry Whaley was found guilty of second-degree murder for the December 2016 death of 19-year-old Samantha Teeter. Prosecutors said Whaley shot Teeter in the head through his apartment door in southeastern Mason City. Whaley claimed he fired into the door because he believed two people he knew were breaking into his apartment, with Teeter not being one of those two people and that her death was an accident. Whaley was sentenced to the maximum 50 years on the Class B forcible felony charge.
Whaley appealed his conviction, contending the state offered insufficient evidence to support the jury’s verdict finding he acted with malice aforethought and without justification.
The Court of Appeals in its ruling issued earlier today says in their review of the case they found substantial evidence to sustain Whaley’s conviction.
The court also ruled that Whaley still could ask for post-conviction relief based on his claims of ineffective assistance of counsel involving questions of trial strategy since the trial record did not adequately address those questions.