A Scott County jury on Thursday began deliberations in a case of an uncle accused of fatally shooting his nephew in their shared Riverdale home.
The prosecution and the defense agree on the basic facts of the case:
On Dec. 7, 2019, Brian Duque, now 54, argued with his nephew, Terry Warner, 32, in their shared residence. Duque retrieved a Smith and Wesson 9mm handgun and fired one round, striking Warner.
They disagree on whether the action was justified.
In his closing arguments, prosecutor Nathan Repp told the members of the jury they are fact finders. He explained the elements involved in finding someone guilty of murder in the first degree and also lesser charges.
The two argued about the state of the house and who had done, or not done, chores in the video.
The jury saw evidence that included cell phone video of an argument between Duque and Warner, photos of the scene, Warner’s injury, and video of an interview with Duque after the shooting. Repp reminded the jury Terry Warner is not on trial for having a messy house.
Miguel Puentes, Duque’s attorney, emphasized the presumption of innocence. “He’s not guilty of murder in the first degree and he’s not guilty of murder in the second,” Puentes said. “The state cannot prove it.”
Puentes said Duque did not intend the death, and that the facts support the shooting was justified.
“Do not be influenced by likes or dislikes” Puentes told the jury. “Your sole duty is to find the truth.”
The jury was set to deliberate until 4:30 p.m. Thursday, then return Friday morning for more deliberations.
Soon after the incident, Duque was arrested and transported to the Scott County Jail, where he remains on a $1 million cash-only bond, court records say. He faces a charge of first-degree murder.
Earlier, the Scott County Sheriff’s Department said the shooting happened shortly before 1:30 p.m. on the 1100 block of Fenno Drive.
In 2019, Local 4 News learned Warner’s family has owned the house for 40 years, and that he lived there with his three children and Duque.
Upon conviction, a first-degree murder carries a life sentence in Iowa.