Judge orders new trial in ‘95 slaying
IOWA CITY (AP) — A federal judge has taken the rare step of ordering a new trial for a state prisoner convicted in the 1995 murder of a northwestern Iowa teenager, resurrecting a case that inflamed tensions between whites and Hispanics and prompted tougher policies on illegal immigration.
Guillermo Escobedo and Cesar Herrarte were charged with using meatpacking knives to stab 19-year-old Justin Younie to death when a fight broke out at a party in Hawarden, a small town north of Sioux City. Younie was cut so deeply that his internal organs were severed.
Escobedo and Herrarte had entered the country illegally from Mexico, and the gruesome death fueled tensions at a time when waves of immigrants were moving to Iowa for work on farms and in meatpacking plants. Gov. Terry Branstad ordered a review of state immigration policy after the slaying, and U.S. Rep. Tom Latham cited the murder on the floor of Congress in 1996 to push for a law allowing local police to help enforce immigration law.
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