Iowa Court of Appeals affirms Mason City man’s murder conviction

MASON CITY — A Mason City man’s appeal of his murder conviction has been turned down by the Iowa Court of Appeals.

39-year-old Benjamin Gonzalez was found guilty of first-degree murder by a Cerro Gordo County jury in August 2021. He was accused of the shooting death of 36-year-old Michael Creviston on the night of March 31st 2021 in the area of 3rd Northwest and North Jefferson.

A criminal complaint stated that Gonzalez fired a handgun with pre-meditation at Creviston, striking him fatally in the torso. Gonzalez was arrested five days later after a standoff with authorities in Algona.

Gonzalez appealed his conviction, arguing the district court abused its discretion in denying his motion for a mistrial after a police officer testified that an eyewitness was interviewed a second time after she was assaulted. Gonzalez urged the Iowa Court of Appeals to conclude that the jury assumed the assault was a retaliatory act for talking to police and was used as evidence of Gonzalez’s guilt in the shooting for which he was on trial, maintaining that deprived him of a fair trial.

The Iowa Court of Appeals in its ruling stated that the district court did not abuse its discretion in denying Gonzalez’s motion for a mistrial and affirmed his first-degree murder conviction.