Murder trial begins

Jury members began listening to the debate Tuesday, Aug. 6, if Toby McCunn shot and killed Josh Jordan of Shenandoah in self-defense or if McCunn was aggressive during the April 22 incident.

State Attorney General Doug Hammerand, working with Page County Attorney Carl Sonksen, said in his opening statement, McCunn, 34, intentionally shot and killed Jordan, 33.

”The evidence will show that Josh Jordan died from being shot,” said Hammerand from the courtroom in the Page County Courthouse in Clarinda. 

“It will also show that the defendant had malice towards Josh, that the defendant deliberately, willfully and pre-meditatedly with a specific intent, shot and killed Josh.  The evidence will show that the defendant did not act in self-defense.  The evidence will show he was actually hunting him down.  He had him lured over there. He had a gun pointed at him.  That wasn’t self-defense.”

McCunn was charged with first-degree murder.  Prosecutors argue McCunn and Jordan had a history of arguments stemming from a property dispute.

“The defendant had a friend that was going to try and raise some money,” said Hammerand.  “He took some of the defendant’s property and sold it to raise money, but it fell through.  The defendant wanted his property back, but people paid money for the property and wanted their money.  The defendant was pursuing Josh Jordan.”

In his opening statement, defense attorney Andrew Munger explained an incident that allegedly had taken place at another residence in Shenandoah more than one month before Jordan’s murder.  He said McCunn feared for his life because of that incident.

“Josh Jordan pulls out his .22-revolver and points it at the head of Toby McCunn and fires a shot into the wall,” said Munger.  “No police report was filed involving a gunshot that night.  Witnesses were hesitant to come forward because Josh Jordan fired a shot into the wall and said to Toby McCunn ‘the next one’s going to count.’”

Police allege McCunn used a 9-millimeter handgun in the fatal shooting, but Munger argues there were also shots fired from a .22-caliber handgun owned by Jordan.  One of those shots went into McCunn’s leg.

“The evidence will show there were six .22-caliber bullets and/or bullet fragments that were recovered from the scene,” said Munger.  “The shootout occurred.  The law does not require defection and Toby McCunn left the premises.  He had just been through a traumatic event.  I submit to you that it would be a tragic event for anyone in Toby’s position.”

The first day included the prosecution calling nine witnesses, ranging from law enforcement and first responders to witnesses to the shooting and subsequent events.

Transcripts from the trial provided by KMA Radio

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