November 2008 – Heemstra Trial

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Wrongful Death Blog. November 5, 2008

November 5 2008 - Heemstra Trial

The killing of Milo farmer Tom Lyon was a “despicable” act that robbed Ronda Lyon, his wife and high school sweetheart, of her way of life in rural Warren County, her lawyer said today.

“Ronda was left without a husband. ... Her future has literally been destroyed,” said lawyer Donald Beattie in opening arguments in a wrongful death lawsuit.

Beattie described the slain farmer as a hard working, respected figure in the community. He decried the killing by Rodney Heemstra, a neighboring farmer, and he said the assailant has never shown any remorse for ending the life of a defenseless man.

Lawyer Joseph Hrvol, who is defending Heemstra in the civil trial in Polk County District Court, made no effort to argue that his client didn’t kill Lyon. That finding has already been made by the jury that convicted him of voluntary manslaughter, which resulted in Heemstra spending more than four years in prison.

“This has been a tragedy for two families, not just one,” Hrvol said.