July 30, 2014

Supreme Court upholds murder conviction of Council Bluffs man

The Iowa Supreme Court has upheld the conviction of a Council Bluffs man found guilty in the brutal beating death of his wife. Stanley Tribble was convicted of first-degree murder in the death of his wife Tracy. The naked body of 35-year-old Tracy Tribble was found floating in the Missouri River four or five miles from her home in May of 2006.

The medical examiner found Tribble had severe injuries to her head and face as a result of being beaten. They also found the presence of ethanol alcohol in her body and said she probably died from asphyxiation either by smothering, strangling, or drowning.

This became important during Stanley Tribble’s trial as the judge instructed the jury that it could find Tribble guilty of first-degree murder based on a premeditated assault. Or they could find him guilty on the first-degree murder alternate theory that Tribble killed Tracy while participating in the forcible felony of willful injury causing serious injury.

The judge questioned the jurors after the verdict and found 11 of 12 felt Tribble was guilty under the felony murder theory, while the other believed he was guilty solely under the premeditated murder alternative. Tribble appealed saying the felony-murder decision did not apply to this case and the jury was improperly instructed.

 The Iowa Supreme Court says its review of the case found the judge gave the proper instructions and it upheld Stanley Tribble’s conviction.