The Northwood man accused of stabbing his ex-girlfriend in a park almost two years ago has been found guilty of first-degree murder. A Webster County jury returned the guilty verdict against Tyrone Washington Junior on Tuesday afternoon after getting the case Monday afternoon.
Washington was accused of stabbing 30-year-old Justina Smith to death on August 5th 2013 in Swenrud Park. Washington testified on Friday that Smith pulled a knife on him, he grabbed the knife and used it on her in self-defense. Prosecutors said Washington had a history of domestic abuse against Smith. Washington is scheduled to be sentenced on August 31st in Northwood. He faces the mandatory sentence of life in prison without the opportunity for parole.
The trial was moved from Northwood to Fort Dodge after a change of venue request was granted when concerns were raised about the small number of African-Americans living in Worth County, which the defense claimed would hinder Washington’s ability to receive a fair trial.
(Reporting by Bob Fisher, KRIB, Mason City)