The Iowa Court of Appeals has turned down the appeal of a Jesup man who was found guilty of killing his girlfriend. The prosecution successfully argued that 38-year-old Lynn Lamasters strangled his live-in girlfriend, Patricia Rapacki, in December of 2003, then placed her body in a basement freezer inside her home.
Authorities found Rapacki’s body on January 12th, 2004, days after Lamasters was arrested for leading police on a high-speed chase with Rapacki’s car. Lamasters stabbed himself in the stomach after police stopped the car. Lamasters appealed his first-degree murder conviction saying he made statements to police officers while he was in the hospital and was not given a Miranda warning of his right to remain silent.
Lamasters also said he was under the influence of medication while giving some statements to police. And Lamasters said the district court should not have denied his motions to suppress the evidence that he fled officers. The Appeals Court ruled Lamasters has not shown the evidence of flight was unduly prejudicial.
The Justices also concluded Lamasters was not in custody when he was questioned by police officers in the hospital, and no Miranda warning was necessary. The court says the evidence showed that a Lamasters was coherent and not confused when questioned, which tends to show his statements were voluntary.