Appeals Court overturns conviction in guns case

2013-08-08T16:00:00Z 2013-08-14T11:38:16Z Appeals Court overturns conviction in guns caseBy MARY PIEPER, Waterloo Cedar Falls Courier

OSAGE --- The Iowa Court of Appeals on Wednesday reversed the conviction of a Riceville resident and returned the case to Mitchell County District Court for dismissal.

Jurors in May 2012, found Ted McPhail, 48, guilty of four counts of being a felon in possession of firearms. His arrest followed the discovery by police in November 2011 of two revolvers, a rifle and ammunition at the home of McPhail's girlfriend, Shannon Henaman.

McPhail regularly stayed with her in Osage.

A district court judge sentenced McPhail to five years in prison on each count but allowed him to serve the time concurrently.

In his appeal, McPhail argued under Iowa law his possession of ammunition is not illegal because he wasn't convicted of domestic violence and was not subject to an order of protection. He also contended prosecutors offered insufficient evidence proving he possessed the three weapons.

The state conceded McPhail's point about the ammunition but urged the appeals court to affirm the remaining convictions.

Justices, however, reversed the convictions because the state's proof fell short of showing McPhail had knowledge of the firearms or had the right to exercise control of the weapons.

Copyright 2015 Waterloo Cedar Falls Courier. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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