The Iowa Court of Appeals has upheld the first-degree murder conviction of a Des Moines man. Police say Christopher Michael Phipps killed his girlfriend Melissa Dean in September of 2009 in the trailer they shared after Dean told him she was leaving him to go to Ohio.
Phipps had called 9-1-1 and told police he accidentally killed Dean, who investigators found had been strangled and beaten. Phipps claimed at his trial that he was intoxicated and was trying to defend himself against Dean, but the jury convicted him of the murder.
Phipps appealed the conviction saying there was insufficient evidence to prove he had the capacity to form the specific intent to kill Dean, and that the jury was not properly instructed on his diminished capacity defense.
The Court of Appeals says its review of the evidence found a greater weight of the evidence supports the jury’s verdict, and it also found there was no error in the instructions given to the jurors in the case.
See the complete ruling here: Phipps ruling PDF