The Iowa Court of Appeals has reversed a murder conviction in a Linn County case and ordered a new trial. Jake Bush of Fairfax was charged with shooting 19-year-old Thomas Horvath of Cedar Rapids to death during a fight between a couple of groups of men outside a Cedar Rapids apartment complex in April of 2008.
Bush, who was also 19 at the time, was found guilty of first-degree murder based in part on the testimony of three men who were at the shooting. The three had recanted their statements that Bush was the shooter prior to the trial, but the prosecution still used the three men in its case without directly referring to their recanted statements.
Bush’s attorney objected to having the men testify, saying it would be an effort to get the men to make testimony about Bush being the shooter that they had already taken back. The district court allowed the witnesses, saying they would be used to set the stage for the shooting and describe the incidents following the shooting.
Bush appealed saying the testimony of three of the witnesses was inadmissible, and was used by prosecutors in an effort to put inadmissible evidence in front of the jury. The Iowa Court of Appeals agreed with Bush and reversed the verdict and ordered a new trial.