DES MOINES, Iowa– David Moffitt has been convicted of first-degree murder in the death of 30-year-old Justin Michael. Moffitt was accused of killing Michael in his Grimes home back in May of 2014. Moffitt was also convicted of first-degree burglary.
Michael’s family said they got the verdict they were hoping for.
“It has been an ordeal for the family in hearing all the details and just a waiting process but we are very pleased with the citizens of Des Moines who served on the jury and did their job according to what they heard,” says Justin’s father Weldon Michael.
Weldon Michael described hearing the verdict as bitter-sweet.
“That’s all we have for Justin is to make sure justice is served and I think it was.”
The case was handed over to the jury late Tuesday afternoon, but the jury didn’t begin deliberations until Wednesday.
Moffitt plead not guilty by reason of insanity.
His defense is claiming Moffitt had a psychotic break when he found out his ex-girlfriend was engaged to Michael whom he worked with at Wells Fargo. Moffitt’s attorney told the jury Moffitt was mentally ill at the time of the crime and had a psychologist testify Moffitt didn’t know the difference between right and wrong.
The prosecution told the jury Moffitt knew what he was doing when he pulled the trigger. State Prosecutor Steve Foritano said Moffitt researched homicide on his computer, bought a gun, and tried to frame someone else for the crime. Foritano says he was happy with the verdict and glad he could help the Michael family through such a trying time.
“It’s rewarding for me because I get a chance to help someone else through kind of a tough process, so even though there was a terrible tragedy here I at least get to help try to do something about it.”
Moffitt will remain in the Polk County Jail until his sentencing on July 28th.
A first-degree murder conviction comes with a mandatory life sentence in the state of Iowa.