The Iowa Court of Appeals has upheld the manslaughter conviction against a central Iowa farmer who was released from prison yesterday. Rodney Heemstra of Milo was found guilty of first degree murder for killing his neighbor in early 2003.
A few years later the Iowa Supreme Court overturned the conviction. Heemstra was found guilty after a second trial. He was released from the state prison in Fort Dodge on Monday, after serving a total of four years and four months behind bars.
His attorneys had argued the Iowa Supreme Court’s earlier ruling — overturning Heemstra’s first degree murder conviction — was the same thing as being acquitted on the charges. The Iowa Court of Appeals says there was "nothing" in the Supreme Court’s ruling that "barred Heemstra’s retrial."