Sentencing postponed for convicted killer Travis Standlee

Judge has scheduling conflict Wednesday; new date not yet set

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CEDAR RAPIDS — The sentencing for Travis Standlee, convicted in June of killing a homeless man almost a year ago, has been postponed and is to be scheduled for a later date.

Standlee, 44, originally charged with first-degree murder, was convicted of second-degree murder by a Linn County jury on June 7 in the Sept. 5 killing of Raymond Ursino, 56, in the parking lot at First Presbyterian Church, 310 Fifth St. SE in downtown Cedar Rapids.

His sentencing was originally scheduled to take place Wednesday.

Standlee faces up to 50 years in prison. He must serve at least 35 years or 70 percent of the sentence before being eligible for parole.

Assistant Linn County Attorney Jordan Schier said Tuesday 6th Judicial District Chief Judge Patrick Grady has a conflict on Wednesday and the sentencing hearing is canceled. A new sentencing date has not yet been set.

According to testimony, Standlee, who was also homeless, got into a fight with Ursino in the early morning hours and Standlee strangled him.

Standlee told investigators that he didn’t know Ursino and didn’t remember getting into a fight with him. Standlee didn’t testify during the trial.

Ursino died from manual or hand strangulation, according to a medical examiner who testified during the trial.

Standlee also faces a first-degree murder charge in the strangulation death of Sharon Mead, 41, whose body was found Sept. 11 near Coe College. That trial is set for Oct. 24 and has been moved out of district to Scott County District Court.

According to police records, Standlee was arrested in Ursino’s death on Sept. 9, but the next day Linn County Attorney Jerry Vander Sanden said there was not enough evidence to charge him, and he asked police to continue the investigation.

Standlee was released from jail Sept. 10, and Mead was killed the next day.

According to a criminal complaint, Ursino and Mead both were strangled and had “strikingly similar injuries.” Police found fingerprints on a can near Mead’s body. Standlee was arrested Sept. 22 at a homeless shelter in Des Moines and charged in both deaths.

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