The Ottumwa Courier

Local News

March 10, 2014

Snow found guilty

OTTUMWA — Bobby Snow was found guilty of second-degree murder on Monday, only a couple hours after jurors received the case.

Conviction required the state to prove Snow struck James McElroy and that McElroy died as a result in May 2011. Prosecutors also had to show Snow acted with malice, though not necessarily intent to kill.

Prosecutor Laura Roan said in her closing arguments Snow didn’t mean to kill McElroy. But he struck McElroy with the intent to injure him. He wanted to give McElroy what Snow decided he had coming. That’s malice.

“One right hook to the chin knocked him out cold. Knocked him out permanently,” she said.

The state focused on other options open to Snow following an initial confrontation between Snow and McElroy. Roan said when Snow followed McElroy to his property he pursued a course of action that led to McElroy’s death.

Defense attorney Ron Danks said not everything can be taken at face value in the case. He said witness recollections aren’t always what they seem.

“People were intoxicated. Time has passed,” he said. What people remember now may be very different from what they remember.

Alcohol played a significant part in Danks’ closing. He reminded jurors that many of the people involved in the events that evening were intoxicated. He stressed that the combination of emotion and alcohol can make people unpredictable.

“Use your common sense,” he urged.

Second-degree murder is a Class B felony. While most felonies of that class are punishable by up to 25 years in prison, second-degree murder carries up to 50 years in prison.

Sentencing will take place at a later date.

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