The Iowa Court of Appeals has upheld the conviction of Mark Becker, the man who was charged as being responsible for the death of a high school football coach Ed Thomas two years ago.
Becker was said to have committed the murder of the high school football coach in June 2009. He had reportedly gone to a weight room at Aplington-Parkersburg High School and there he shot Thomas six times. Witnesses at the scene said that Becker had referred to Thomas as “Satan” and had stamped on his head in the process.
Doctors invited to testify in the case stated that the 26-year-old Becker suffers from paranoid schizophrenia but there was no consensus among the doctors as to if the accused was mentally aware that he was committing an evil act. Becker himself had claimed earlier in the court that he was legally insane when he killed Thomas.
Last year, a jury failed to accept as valid Becker’s claim of being legally insane, and he was subsequently sentenced to life imprisonment.
Lawyers to Becker contended that the jurors were giving incorrect instructions on the legal definition of insanity and that was responsible for the decision taken by the jury. The Iowa Court of Appeals agreed that the jury was initially given incorrect definition but it stated that the correct legal definition was later provided. The court, therefore, upheld Becker’s conviction.
Thomas was very popular during his time coaching and was one of best football coaches in the history of Iowa. Becker once played under the tutelage of Thomas in high school before graduating in 2004.