Iowa Farmer Found Guilty in Puzzling Murder of Neighbor

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An Iowa farmer learned Wednesday that he would spend the rest of his life in prison for the shooting death of neighboring farmer Tom Lyon.

Rodney Heemstra, 44, of rural Milo was convicted of first-degree murder in the Jan. 13 shooting of Lyon, 52. The case, dubbed the Milo Murder, has been followed closely by media in the Grain Belt, including the Des Moines Register.

Authorities said the slaying resulted from a longstanding feud between the two respected Milo-area farmers over land where Lyon kept cattle.

The New York Times published a piece on the case Thursday. The story said:

“A growing season has come and gone since the killing, but the town of 839 people has not mended. People took sides. Some stopped speaking to the others. And even on Wednesday evening, as a jury found Mr. Heemstra guilty of first-degree murder, no one could really answer the most troubling question of all: How did it come to this?”


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