Oct. 2003 – Murder Victim’s Wife To Sue Rodney Heemstra

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KCCI Channel News Online. October 27, 2003.

Jury Found Heemstra Guilty Last Week

MILO, Iowa -- Although central Iowa farmer Rodney Heemstra's murder trial ended with a conviction last week, he will likely be headed to court again as the widow of his victim plans to sue him for damages.

Ronda Lyon is pursuing a civil lawsuit against Heemstra, who was convicted by a jury of first-degree murder for shooting Lyon last January.

Heemstra faces a mandatory sentence of life in prison. He'll be sentenced next month.

Beattie also said a lawsuit was planned against an insurance company that is refusing to pay out on Lyon's life insurance policy.The Lyon family's attorney, Donald Beattie, said the civil trial could result in a damages of tens of millions of dollars against Heemstra.

Zurich Life, in Schaumburg, Ill., is part of Banc One Insurance Holdings.

Spokeswoman Julie Crothers said it's an industry standard that all death claims made within two years of purchase of a life policy are subject to an investigation, regardless of the manner of death. She said no decisions have been made.

In an exclusive interview with NewsChannel 8, Ronda Lyon said she thought Heemstra showed a lack of emotion during the trial, especially when prosecutors showed her husband's autopsy pictures.

She said, "There were no tears, there was no look of sadness. I can't imagine what they've been feeling at that time, but I was surprised that there was no emotion from him."