November 2008 – Heemstra Trial

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Wrongful Death Blog. November 18, 2008

November 18 2008 - Heemstra Trial

Defense witnesses today described slain Milo farmer Tom Lyon as deeply disappointed and angry after fellow farmer Rodney Heemstra purchased a nearby farm Lyon had been renting.

Evan Kibbe, who had been a hired hand on the farm, testified during the final day of a civil trial that Lyon had ranted and raved about problems with water being shut off for his cows after Heemstra had purchased the farm. Heemstra wasn’t scheduled to take possession immediately, so Lyon continued to graze his cows on the land.“I should shoot the son of a bitch and go on,” Kibbe quoted Lyon as saying. He also said Lyon had also talked about acquiring a firearm “to run off varmints” and that Lyon told him the weapon was kept in his pickup truck. Kibbe acknowledged under cross-examination never seeing the firearm.

The defense witnesses testified in the fifth day of a wrongful death case filed by Lyon’s family against Heemstra. The trial ended early this afternoon and Polk County District Judge Michael Huppert gave each side 30 days to submit final written arguments.

He plans to take the case under consideration and will issue a decision at a later date. Huppert has already ruled Heemstra is clearly liable for killing Lyon and that Lyon’s family can seek punitive damages.