DES MOINES, Iowa — The Iowa Court of Appeals overturned the murder conviction of a man who was sent to prison for the beating death of another man during a party in a Des Moines parking lot.
Kent Tyler III was convicted of second-degree murder in the Aug. 24, 2013, killing of 40-year-old Richard Daughenbaugh and sentenced to 50 years in prison. Two other men also were convicted of the same charge in the attack.
According to prosecutors, Tyler got annoyed that Daughenbaugh grabbed his arm during a party in a parking lot near the Wells Fargo Center and punched the older man once, knocking him to the ground. Others then attacked Daughenbaugh, leaving him with fatal injuries.
Tyler said he was defending himself, and there was no evidence that he took part in the attack after his initial punch. Prosecutors argued that Tyler likely knew others would jump on Daughenbaugh after his punch, even if he didn't continue attacking the older man.
In his appeal, Tyler contended that he wasn't responsible for the actions of anyone else who got involved.
The appeals court concurred, The Des Moines Register reported (http://dmreg.co/1DlMs36).
"The state has failed to satisfy its burden to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Tyler knowingly advised or encouraged anyone to initiate a deadly assault on Daughenbaugh," Judge Amanda Potterfield wrote.
Polk County Attorney John Sarcone said prosecutors would likely ask the state Supreme Court to review the ruling.
"We respectfully but strongly disagree with the decision," he said. "We think the jury got it right."
Information from: The Des Moines Register, http://www.desmoinesregister.com
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