A carnival worker found guilty of murdering an eastern Iowa woman and her eight-year-old daughter in the summer of 2001 has lost a court appeal. Clay Thomas met Angie Hyke at a carnival in Cresco and was found guilty of strangling the woman and her daughter, then dumping their bodies in a state park in Kansas. Thomas’ attorney argued his client’s confession should not have been admitted as evidence because during an interview with a Kansas agent Thomas had asked to contact an attorney. The Iowa Court of Appeals notes that after Thomas had made that declaration, he called agents and asked to talk with “the people in Iowa.” Thomas also argued brain damage he suffered in a 1995 accident prevented him from voluntarily understanding his rights. The court says there’s no evidence in the transcript that Thomas was hoodwinked and his conviction has been upheld. The Iowa Court of Appeals has also upheld the conviction of a man found guilty of murdering a Corwith man two years ago. Dale Kelling’s throat was cut, his ankles, wrists and head were bound with duct tape and a plastic bag covered his head when his body was discovered in his basement. Jason Hiveley and another man were found guilty of first degree murder, but Hiveley’s lawyer appealed, claiming Hiveley should get a new trial based on newly-discovered evidence — a conversation in which Hiveley’s accomplice told a jailhouse roommate that he had done the murder, Hiveley was only there for the robbery. Hiveley’s lawyer also argued his client’s initial statements to cops should not have been admitted as evidence because Hiveley believed he’d get leniency if he talked. The Court of Appeals rejected those arguments, and upheld Hiveley’s conviction. An east central Iowa man has lost another round in a court battle over a dead horse. Tommy Jovanovic sued Iowa State University’s Veterinary Teaching Hospital in the College of Veterinary Medicine. Jovanovic was seeking damages after his quarter horse died while being treated there. He says the horse died because of the negligence of employees. The Veterinary Hospital countered, claiming it is immune from liability claims because it’s a state agency. Two lower courts have moved to dismiss the lawsuit. The Iowa Court of Appeals has moved to dismiss the lawsuit, too, and the judges say one of Jovanovic’s appeals was not filed in a timely manner anyway.
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