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Murder Conviction Upheld

Scott County Jail

The Iowa Appellate Court has said "no" to a Rock Island man serving a life sentence for murder. Thursday  justices upheld the convictions of Gary Fortune for the death in 2014 of Betty Simmons, and attempted murder of her husband Jack Simmons.

Fortune was also convicted of burglary and arson. 

Following an argument with his girlfriend's parents, Fortune broke into their home in Davenport, and stabbed them both, killing Betty Simmons.

He argued his lawyer was in-effective, there wasn't enough evidence to convict him,  that his statements to police should not have been admitted, that his use of alcohol and other drugs was a mitigating factor, and that he should have been granted a new trial. 

Justices of the appellate court rejected all of these claims, and upheld all of Fortune's  convictions.

A native of Detroit, Herb Trix began his radio career as a country-western disc jockey in Roswell, New Mexico (“KRSY, your superkicker in the Pecos Valley”), in 1978. After a stint at an oldies station in Topeka, Kansas (imagine getting paid to play “Louie Louie” and “Great Balls of Fire”), he wormed his way into news, first in Topeka, and then in Freeport Illinois.