McCunn found guilty of first degree murder

After about three and a half hour deliberation, the jury found Toby McCunn guilty of first-degree murder Thursday, Aug. 8 at the Page County Courthouse in Clarinda. 

During the judge’s reading of the verdict, McCunn showed no emotion. The judge scheduled sentencing at 9 a.m., Tuesday, Sept. 17. McCunn is facing a life sentence without the possibility of parole.

McCunn, 34, of Red Oak was charged with murder in the April 22 death of Josh Jordan, 33, in Shenandoah.

Closing arguments were held Thursday, Aug. 8. McCunn had plead not guilty as his defense team was claiming he was acting in self-defense.

McCunn did not testify during the trial that started Tuesday, Aug. 6.

“It’s his right,” said defense attorney Andrew Munger about McCunn not taking the stand. “It’s on the state,” he said for the state to convince the jury he is guilty.

Munger furthered his comment by reminding the jury the two people in the house during the shooting were not called to give their testimony. The owner of the house, where the suspected weapon used by McCunn was found, also did not take the stand.

“There is a lack of evidence,” Munger said.

In a rebuttal, state attorney Doug Hammerand said the people Munger listed who did not testify were not needed.

“We called the witnesses that prove our case,” he said.

During the initial closing statement, Hammerand said events and McCunn’s actions after the incident were telling. He said there was no immediate call to 911 to report the shooting.

“It’s not self-defense,” Hammerand said.

After leaving the residence with a gun shot wound to his leg from Jordan, McCunn did not immediately go to a hospital for treatment. McCunn shut off his cell phone at about 12:15 p.m. McCunn hid his vehicle in a garage. He washed the jeans he was wearing during the shooting.

Hammerand claimed McCunn knew authorities would be looking for him.

Wednesday, Aug. 7, the second day of testimony, Hammerand featured weapons, the crime scene and the autopsy to the jury.

During his testimony, Iowa Department of Criminal Investigation Special Agent Phillip Kennedy said he was notified of the shooting at about 5:30 a.m. April 22. He interviewed McCunn in Shenandoah Medical Center. McCunn was taken into custody at about 2 p.m. and to the center for treatment.

“He was obsessed. It consumed his life,” Kennedy said about McCunn’s desire to find whoever had allegedly, previously burglarized his residence and stole his property. Kennedy said McCunn had a list of suspects. Kennedy said he was told by McCunn family members attempted to talk him out of his plan to find the people as it “wasn’t worth it.”

Kennedy said McCunn wanted to use his “mouth and muscle to intimidate people. He said he was the police. It gave him a sense of power.”

On Tuesday, Aug. 6, Munger said, more than a month before the fatal shooting, Jordan pointed a .22-revolver at McCunn’s head and fired a shot into a wall. There was no police report of that shooting. Munger said Jordan shot the wall and told McCunn “the next one’s going to count.”

During testimony Tuesday, the state claimed the two had a history of disputes over property.

The fatal shooting occurred at 901 Manti St. in Shenandoah.

McCunn approached the house and Kennedy said McCunn contemplated to kick in or knock on the door. Kevin Weil, 32, and Brandy Baker, 30, were both in the house. Weil asked who was at the door. McCunn entered with the intent of finding Jordan. During testimony, Baker was explained as the “baby momma” for Jordan.

Kennedy said McCunn said Jordan was surprised McCunn arrived. Kennedy said McCunn told him Jordan was attempting to avoid McCunn. The state said McCunn had a loaded weapon.

The state claimed Jordan had told McCunn, “We can handle this another way.”

The defense said McCunn acted in self-defense in the shooting.

“He said Josh reached down one hand to his waist and one hand to his backside and pulled out two firearms. During which he fumbled with one and dropped it. McCunn referred to it as the black handgun. It was at this time that he told me he threw himself to the floor on his knees and retrieved the black handgun,” Kennedy said.

Gun shots began.

“He claimed that shots were being fired,” Kennedy said. “He claimed that he had made his way behind a counter, reached up with the firearm over the counter and nothing happened. So he pulled the gun back down, realized the safety was on, removed the safety, raised the firearm back up over the counter and began returning fire.”

State medical examiner Dr. Dennis Klein testified earlier in the day that Jordan sustained two gun wounds, both in the upper torso. One of the shots went through his chest and damaged his heart and left lung. Klein called that shot fatal. The other shot was through the left shoulder.

Klein said there is no proven, scientific procedure to determine which of the bullet wounds happened first. He also said there is no way to determine the exact time of death. The shooting occurred at about 4:45 a.m. McCunn left the house afterward.

State, criminal investigators found multiple gun shots in the house, from .9-millimeter and .22-calliber weapons. The defense asked questions related to how close Jordan and McCunn were to each other during the shooting and direction of the bullets. One investigator said she was only there to find and record evidence, not determine the shooters’ location.

State, criminal investigators earlier in the proceedings said three handguns were found under the attic floor at 300 S. Elm, where McCunn was taken into custody at about 2 p.m. One .9-millimeter handgun had its serial number removed.

Gun shots began.

“He claimed that shots were being fired,” Kennedy said. “He claimed that he had made his way behind a counter, reached up with the firearm over the counter and nothing happened. So he pulled the gun back down, realized the safety was on, removed the safety, raised the firearm back up over the counter and began returning fire.”

State medical examiner Dr. Dennis Klein testified earlier in the day that Jordan sustained two gun wounds, both in the upper torso. One of the shots went through his chest and damaged his heart and left lung. Klein called that shot fatal. The other shot was through the left shoulder.

Klein said there is no proven, scientific procedure to determine which of the bullet wounds happened first. He also said there is no way to determine the exact time of death. The shooting occurred at about 4:45 a.m. McCunn left the house.

State, criminal investigators found multiple gun shots in the house, from .9-millimeter and .22-calliber weapons. The defense asked questions related to how close Jordan and McCunn were to each other during the shooting and direction of the bullets. One investigator said she was only there to find and record evidence, not determine the shooters’ location.

State, criminal investigators earlier in the proceedings said three handguns were found under the attic floor at 300 S. Elm, where McCunn was taken into custody at about 2 p.m. One .9-millimeter handgun had its serial number removed.

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