An Emmet County jury found 35-year-old Scott Sudbeck of Estherville guilty of first-degree murder on Thursday afternoon. After listening to closing arguments, the jury of seven men and five women deliberated for about 45 minutes before returning the guilty verdict.
Sudbeck was convicted in the fatal shooting of 30-year-old Michaela Lynne Jordan on February 26th of last year at Lot 108 in the Green Acres Mobile Home Park. In his closing arguments, Iowa Assistant Attorney General Andrew Prosser said Sudbeck killed Michaela Jordan with malice and premeditation.
Prosser said Sudbeck held Jordan responsible for ruining his life due to his arrest on unrelated charges the previous month and the resulting no contact order that prevented him from having contact with Jordan or her family. He told a friend that Jordan had taken everything he had and betrayed his love.
In his closing arguments, Public Defender Greg Jones said the shooting was accidental. Jones said Sudbreak could not have formed the intent to kill Jordan because he was highly intoxicated that day. He also said Sudbeck was burdened by several financial issues and learning that morning that his son may have cancer. District Court Judge Patrick Carr set a sentencing date of April 3rd. First degree murder is a class A felony punishable by life in prison.
Sudbeck will be held without bond until he is sentenced.
(Reporting by Ed Funston, KILR, Estherville)