Wife testifies she watched her husband shoot son

2 weeks ago 827

LE MARS, Iowa — Darlene Knapp knew her hubby was huffy erstwhile helium returned wrong their home.

Tom Knapp had noticed a birdbath knocked implicit successful their gait that greeting and went extracurricular to acceptable it backmost up. Darlene Knapp said raccoons astir apt knocked it over, but she knew Tom apt would blasted her son, Kevin Juzek, who lived successful their basement.

"We was astir apt blaming some of us," Darlene Knapp said, testifying that her hubby didn't similar having Juzek successful their home, but determination had ne'er been immoderate carnal confrontations betwixt them. "I conjecture helium conscionable truly ne'er liked Kevin whatsoever."

Minutes later, Juzek was dormant connected the surviving country floor, changeable doubly by Tom Knapp aft Juzek had stepped successful to halt him from assaulting Darlene.

Knapp, 84, has pleaded not blameworthy successful Plymouth County District Court of first-degree execution and willful wounded for the May 11, 2020, shooting of Juzek, 51, who was his stepson. Knapp besides is charged with willful wounded and home battle for assaulting Darlene anterior to the shooting. If recovered blameworthy of first-degree murder, Knapp would look a mandatory condemnation of beingness successful situation without parole.

Knapp is accused of shooting Juzek with a 20-gauge shotgun done his chamber door, striking him successful the abdomen, past shooting him a 2nd clip from point-blank scope successful the thorax successful the surviving country floor.

Darlene Knapp testified that her hubby punched her astatine slightest doubly successful the look erstwhile she brought immoderate caller h2o to him. Inside his bedroom, Tom knocked her down, past pulled her up onto the furniture by her hair. He past struck her with a woody workout instrumentality akin to a broomstick astatine slightest twice, 1 of the blows breaking fingers successful Darlene's near manus arsenic she tried to support herself.

Juzek came to the door, Darlene said, and she ducked nether Tom to permission the bedroom. She said Juzek held the doorway unopen truthful she could telephone 911. She didn't perceive the archetypal shot.

"Kevin came retired and told maine Tom changeable him successful the stomach," she said.

Juzek fell to the level and was sitting up.

"Then Tom came retired and helium benignant of kicked Kevin successful the ft and said 'you mean you aren't dormant yet?' and past helium changeable him successful the chest," Darlene said. "Kevin was perfectly petrified. When (Tom) pointed the weapon astatine him, (Kevin) said 'oh, no,' and those were Kevin's past words.

"I'll ne'er hide it. It's successful my heart."

Darlene Knapp said Tom pursued her arsenic she near the house, holding the weapon against her.

"I was frightened I was going to get changeable successful the back," she said.

Able to escape, Darlene called 911 a 2nd clip from outside, and officers soon arrived portion Tom Knapp remained wrong the house.

Knapp's attorneys accidental his actions were justified and helium changeable Juzek successful self-defense.

In an audio signaling of Knapp's interrogation with investigators played Thursday for the jury, Knapp said Darlene had threatened her with the stick, and helium took it from her and deed her. He besides told deputies Juzek was screaming astatine him from extracurricular his bedroom.

Plymouth County Sheriff Mike Van Otterloo, who has since retired, responded to the shooting and spoke with Tom Knapp, who was seated successful the backmost spot of a patrol car. After Van Otterloo advised him of his close to stay silent, helium asked Knapp wherefore helium changeable his stepson.

"Because helium was attacking me," Knapp said successful a video signaling of the speech played for jurors. "He was jerking connected the door. He had a wood thing, helium was going to deed maine with it."

On Thursday, jurors heard different recordings of Knapp telling investigators that Juzek purposely annoyed him, and adjacent played immoderate benignant of physics instrumentality that kept Knapp awake astatine night.

Darlene Knapp testified she ne'er heard the sound her hubby -- the 2 are present divorced -- complained about.

At the decision of her testimony, Plymouth County Attorney Darin Raymond rested his lawsuit aft a time and a fractional of witnesser grounds and evidence.

After speaking concisely with Knapp successful private, nationalist defender Wendy Samuelson past rested the defence lawsuit without calling Knapp oregon immoderate different witnesses to testify.

The proceedings volition resume with the attorneys' closing arguments connected Tuesday greeting earlier the lawsuit is submitted to the jury.

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