Iowa City man sentenced for chess-game killing

  • Photo

David Christian was sentenced Monday in Johnson County District Court to 10 years in prison for voluntary manslaughter in the death of his neighbor during a combative chess game last October.

Christian, 30, of Iowa City, who pleaded guilty Sept. 25, was also ordered to pay victim restitution of $150,000 to the estate of victim Michael Steward, 39, of Iowa City. He was originally charged with second-degree murder, which carries a 50-year sentence.

The fight started when Steward apparently slapped Christian during the chess match, according to court records. Christian then held Steward’s hands together and put Steward’s neck between his legs. Christian applied pressure on his neck off and on until Steward was unresponsive.

Christian told police he attempted to perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation on Steward and then went to get help from a neighbor, who called police.

Christian admitted at the pleading that he caused Steward’s death.

He also was charged with public intoxication in connection with the incident.

Like what you're reading?

We make it easy to stay connected:

to our email newsletters
Download our free apps

Give us feedback

Have you found an error or omission in our reporting? Tell us here.
Do you have a story idea we should look into? Tell us here.