New Trials Ordered for Two Men in Daughenbaugh Beating Death

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Yarvon Russell and James Shorter (WHO-HD)
Yarvon Russell and James Shorter (WHO-HD)

DES MOINES, Iowa — Two men convicted of second degree murder in the beating death of a Des Moines man in 2013 will get new trials.

The Iowa Court of Appeals issued rulings Wednesday morning reversing the murder convictions and ordering new trials for Yarvon Russell and James Shorter. The two men were accused of beating Richard Daughenbaugh to death during a fight in downtown Des Moines on August 25th, 2013.

Richard Daughenbaugh (WHO-HD)
Richard Daughenbaugh (WHO-HD)

The ruling stated, “Having found the joint criminal conduct theory unsupported by substantial evidence, we are obligated to reverse and remand for a new trial because we have no way of knowing whether the jury found Shorter guilty individually, as an aider and abettor, or under a theory of joint criminal conduct.”

Another man convicted in the case, Kent Tyler III, was awarded a new trial by the Iowa Court of Appeals back in January. Tyler threw the first punch in the fight and the court ruled he couldn’t have reasonably known his actions would lead to Daughenbaugh’s death.

A fourth man, Leprese Williams, was acquitted of first degree murder in the case.

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