The Iowa Supreme Court has upheld the murder conviction of a Buchanan County man in the death of his girlfriend. Lynn Lamasters of Jesup was found guilty of first-degree murder in the death of girlfriend Patricia Rapacki in 2003.
Lamasters was arrested after an officer saw him in his car outside a bank in Raymond, and he took off, leading officers on a high-speed chase. The chase ended in farm field and Lamasters stabbed himself with a knife.
Officers searched his home and found Rapacki’s body locked in a freezer. She had been strangled to death with an electrical cord. Officers found part of the cord with Lamaster’s blood on it. Lamasters sought to have his trial split so there would be a ruling on his guilt or innocence, and whether or not he was insane.
The district court denied the motion to split the case and Lamasters was convicted of the murder. Lamasters appealed the conviction saying his lawyers were ineffective in pushing for the split case so he could use the insanity defense.
The Iowa Supreme Court ruled that Lamasters has not offered a psychiatric opinion that he was legally insane at the time of the killing, and the testimony of numerous witnesses tends to show he was in command of his faculties, so his claim of ineffective counsel does not stand.
Lamasters will remain in prison serving the life sentence for his conviction.
See the complete ruling here: Lamasters ruling PDF