Sentencing delayed for Thompson in 2009 slaying of Iowa City landlord

Trial of another defendant in Versypt murder has also been delayed

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One of three men charged in connection with the 2009 slaying of a landlord in south Iowa City will not be sentenced until February because the trial of one of his co-defendants has again been delayed.

Charles Thompson, 20, was arrested and charged in February 2010 with first-degree murder in the death of John Versypt, 64, of Cordova, Ill. But a judge declared a mistrial in his case one year ago, and Thompson in December agreed to a plea deal that had him admitting guilt to a lesser charge of accessory after the fact – an aggravated misdemeanor that could keep him out of prison.

As part of that plea deal, Thompson agreed to testify against one of his co-defendants, Justin Marshall, 21, who was arrested in July 2011 on suspicion of first-degree murder in connection with Versypt’s death.

Thompson agreed to stay in jail until after his sentencing hearing, which can’t be held until after he testifies against Marshall, according to prosecutors.

Marshall’s trial, which has been reset three times, now is scheduled for Jan. 22. Thompson’s sentencing hearing now is set for Feb. 15, according to online court records.

Thompson’s lesser charge comes with a two-year prison term, but by the time he’s sentenced in February, he’ll have been in jail for three years. His attorneys argue he will get credit for that time – meaning he probably won’t have to serve any additional time after his sentencing.

A third co-defendant in the case, Courtney White, 24, of Coralville, also has been charged with first-degree murder in Versypt’s death. His trial was scheduled for Jan. 8, but court records indicate White will be in court Thursday so attorneys can discuss moving his trial until after Marshall’s.

According to police reports and trial information, Versypt – a landlord with units in the Broadway Condominiums in south Iowa City – was killed Oct. 8, 2009, during an attempted robbery while he was checking on his units.

Versypt died after being shot in his right hand and in his head, according to police.

According to trial information, Thompson admitted to police that he knew Marshall and another man killed Versypt, and he admitted to helping Marshall dispose of clothing worn on the day of the shooting.

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