Knapp convicted of first degree murder

Published: Sep. 13, 2022 at 2:25 PM CDT
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LE MARS (KTIV) - A Merrill, Iowa man was convicted on five of six counts in Plymouth County District Court on Tuesday, Sept. 13.

Thomas Knapp, 84, was found guilty of first degree murder, willful injury causing serious injury, willful injury causing bodily injury, and two counts of domestic abuse assault in the shooting death of his stepson Kevin Juzek, in May 2020.

This morning, the prosecution and the defense presented their closing arguments.

The state spent a majority of its time following the timeline of events the morning of the murder.

In the moments leading up the shooting, prosecutors say Knapp struck his wife with his fists and a stick.

Knapp’s wife, Darlene, was victim Kevin Juzek’s mother.

Prosecutors say Juzek gave his mother time to escape.

But, Knapp’s defense attorney admitted he shot Juzek through the bedroom door, and once more out in the living room.

Knapp had undergone evaluation twice to determine his competency to stand trial before the court determined the proceedings could continue.

Sentencing will be held at 11 a.m., Oct. 7, in Plymouth County District Court.