A central Iowa farmer who’s been convicted twice of killing his neighbor is out of prison. Rodney Heemstra of Milo was convicted of first degree murder and sentenced to life in prison for killing his neighbor, Tom Lyon, in 2003.
The Iowa Supreme Court ordered a new trial a few years later and last year Heemstra was found guilty of voluntary manslaughter. Heemstra was given credit for the time he’d already served and he released from the state prison in Fort Dodge just before eight o’clock this morning. Lyon’s family has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Heemstra.
That trial is scheduled to start next week. Heemstra, who is 49 years old now, has maintained he shot his 52-year-old neighbor in self-defense. Prosecutors say he killed Lyons with a rifle, then dumped the body in a well.
Heemstra served four years and four months in prison.