Iowa Court Upholds Conviction — (The Daily Iowan)

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The Daily Iowan

BY HAYLEY BRUCE

SEPTEMBER 27, 2010 7:18

The Iowa Supreme Court upheld the double murder conviction of a North Liberty man in the deaths of two young women.

The Sept. 24 decision was the final part in a three-year appeal process that started after a jury found Kyle Marin guilty in 2007 of the April 13, 2006, murders.

According to Marin’s Oct. 24, 2007, testimony, a night that began with drinking and fun with friends ended in an explosion of violence when the former West High student killed Katrina Hill of Solon and cousin Molly Edmondson of Cedar Rapids. Both were 18.

Raymond Hill, Katrina Hill’s father, said he did not follow Marin’s appeal closely but is content with the court’s decision.

“It’s over for him and it’s not over for me, but I’m happy,” he said. “I had no doubts that it would end this way.”

Hill said he is doing well and still struggles from day to day, and he expressed his frustration with the judicial system.

“My question to the judicial system is this ­ my daughter never got a chance to appeal, why did he get so many?” he said.

Hill was the first to find the two women and called 911 to report the homicides.

Marin pleaded not guilty because of insanity under involuntary intoxication, citing his consumption of alcohol and Zoloft­ an antidepressant believed to have adverse side effects ­ made him incapable of having specific intent.

In his appeal, he claimed the judge had erred in not giving the jury instructions that differentiated between voluntary and involuntary intoxication, but the court ruled it wouldn’t have mattered to the outcome.

In a taped interview with Cedar Rapids police, Marin said he had played drinking games with Hill and Edmondson earlier in the evening at Edmondson’s apartment. The young women settled down for the evening, and Marin left to get cigarettes.

Prior to his return, he began having violent and suicidal thoughts, he said in the interview.

When Marin got back to the apartment he forced Hill and Edmondson to get out of bed, remove their clothing, and get in the shower, he told police. Marin then stabbed and bludgeoned the two women to death with a hammer, court documents said.

Later that evening, Marin turned himself in to the Linn County Correctional Center, where he was arrested and later questioned by Cedar Rapids police.

According to court documents, officers found a hammer, screwdriver, a number of knives, and other utensils at the scene of the crime.

The killings occurred just one week after Marin had been denied admittance to the Johnson County Mental Health Center after two attempted suicides. Later in the trial, Kyle Marin’s mother, Carrie Marin, said she had feared for her son’s well-being months before the slayings because of his aggressive and suicidal tendencies.

A jury of seven women and five men found Marin guilty of two counts of first-degree murder on Nov. 1, 2007, after only three and a half hours of deliberation. The judge in the case sentenced him to life in prison without parole.

Geoff Greenwood, a spokesman for the Iowa Attorney General’s Office, said prosecutors are satisfied the Supreme Court upheld the trial court’s ruling.