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Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
CEDAR RAPIDS — A lawyer for a Marion man being retried for fatally stabbing his former girlfriend wants the judge to recuse himself because he presided over the first trial.
Al Parrish, lawyer for Greg Davis, 30, charged with first-degree murder, also argues in a motion that there should be a hearing to determine if 6th Judicial District Judge Sean McPartland can be fair and impartial if Davis waives a jury — meaning a judge will decide the verdict.
Parrish wants to be able to question the judge at this hearing, according to the motion.
Assistant Linn County Attorney Mike Harris hasn’t yet responded to the motion.
Parrish said his client is concerned McPartland can’t be impartial in a bench trial because he presided over the first trial where Davis was found guilty and denied granting him a new trial.
Davis was convicted of first-degree murder by a Linn County jury in 2018 but the Iowa Supreme Court overturned the verdict in a 4-3 decision in 2020. The justices found the trial judge — McPartland — failed to instruct the jury regarding Davis' insanity or diminished capacity defense on the first-degree murder charge, which meant jurors couldn’t consider it.
The jury instruction for the insanity defense was included with the lesser charge, so the error allowed the jury to wrongly conclude the insanity defense applied only to that charge, according to the ruling.
Davis is accused of stabbing 29-year-old Carrie Davis in the Marion home they shared. They had the same last name but weren’t married.
According to evidence at the first trial, Davis stabbed the woman 26 times Sept. 28, 2017.
He then attempted to conceal her body in a roll of carpet, which authorities found Oct. 2, 2017, on a utility trailer parked outside his parents' vacant rental house in Marion.
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