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No new trial yet

Iowa’s highest court will review the order for Christensen’s new trial

July 25, 2018
Amy H. Peterson - Staff Writer ( , Estherville News

Monday, the Iowa Supreme Court granted further review of the Appeals Court's decision to return Lee Christensen's case to district court for a new trial.

Christensen, now 20, was convicted Dec. 21, 2016 of second-degree murder in the shooting death of Thomas Lee Bortvit, 19, on June 6, 2015 in Emmet County. Christensen is serving a sentence of 50 years at Anamosa State Penitentiary in Anamosa, Iowa.

After his conviction, Christensen filed an appeal in January, 2017. The Court of Appeals heard oral arguments on the appeal in February, 2018. The Court of Appeals reversed the district court's ruling and remanded the case back to district court for a new trial on April 18.

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In its order, the state's highest court agreed to review en banc (as a whole court) previously filed papers, and said it does not seek any further briefing on the law. Somewhere in the calendar of its next session, which includes dates from September, 2018 through April, 2019, the court will hear oral arguments from the Applicant, which is the state attorney general's office, and the resister, which is Christensen's attorney, Leon Spies, for 15 minutes each, and the Applicant will issue a five minute reply.

See more in Thursday's edition of the Estherville News



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