MASON CITY — The Iowa Supreme Court says a Mason City man convicted of second-degree murder has failed to prove any claims of ineffective assistance of counsel but has agreed to return $50,000 in bond money to the man.
James Farnsworth was convicted in 2013 of second-degree murder in the death of Ian Decker. Decker was involved for a number of years in a relationship with Victoria Miller, with Miller later being in a relationship with Farnsworth. On the night of the murder, Farnsworth allegedly slapped Miller while the two were drinking at a downtown bar, with Decker and Farnsworth later getting into an altercation outside an apartment building. Farnsworth claimed he was acting in self-defense.
Farnsworth last November had won a partial victory in the Iowa Court of Appeals, with the court agreeing with Farnsworth that his attorney should have objected to the forfeiture of $50,000 cash bond. The Court of Appeals reversed a district court judge’s decision to deny his claim based on ineffective assistance of counsel on that only, but Farnsworth other claims of ineffective assistance of counsel were denied.
The Iowa Supreme Court on Friday affirmed the district court’s denial of all the ineffective assistance of counsel claims except the claim that Farnsworth’s attorney should have objected to the forfeiture of bond and remanded the case back to district court to rule that sum should be returned to Farnsworth.