Friday, May 21, 2021

Jury finds Mapleton teen guilty of second degree murder

(Radio Iowa) - A Monona County jury has found a Mapleton teenager guilty of second degree murder for shooting another teen to death. The jury's deliberations lasted less than three hours to decide the case against 18-year-old Jay Neubaum in the January, 2020 death of 16-year-old Joseph Hopkins in Mapleton. Neubaum's defense argued the shooting was an accident and the gun wasn't pointed at the victim. Prosecutor Marty Platz, an assistant state attorney general, told the jury the gun didn't fire itself.

"As the gun science expert testified...the only way this weapon fired at anybody is that the trigger was pulled and the only way it hit the victim was it was aimed dead center," Platz says. "...At the range that he was at, he could not miss."

Prosecutors rested their case Thursday morning and then the defense called the defendant's father as their only witness. Neubaum will face up to 50 years in prison when he's sentenced June 29th and he is awaiting trial in a separate case. Neubaum is charged with sexually assaulting seven teenage girls from the Mapleton area and that trial is scheduled for December.

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