WIUM Tristates Public Radio

Hobbs found guilty in Iowa Court

Feb 28, 2012

Tyler Hobbs of St. Francisville, MO has been found guilty of 1st Degree Murder in the death of Shawn Wright of Kahoka, MO.

Wright was killed near a farmhouse in rural Lee County on November 6, 2010.  He was hit in the head with a mallet multiple times.

His body was found on November 9, 2010  after being dumped near a levee in Gregory Landing, MO.

The jury of seven women and five men delivered the unanimous verdict to Judge Mary Ann Brown in Iowa District Court at about 2:15 P.M. this afternoon.

The panel deliberated for just over two hours.

William Wright of Davenport, Iowa is Shawn’s older brother.

He says he is happy with the verdict and that someone will pay for the crime.

“That is all I can wish for,” says Wright, adding, “is someone did a heinous crime and now the State of Iowa, the court, and his 12 peers made a ruling.”

William Wright hopes people remember Shawn for how he was, not necessarily how he was portrayed at times during the trial.

“He had his problems,” says Wright, “he wasn’t perfect, but he still did not need to die the way he died.”

Tyler Hobbs faces life in prison without parole.  Sentencing is scheduled for Friday, March 23rd.

Assistant Lee County Attorney Bruce McDonald, who prosecuted the case, says Hobbs can appeal the ruling with 30 days.

McDonald says justice was done in the 2nd floor courtroom at the South Lee County Courthouse in Keokuk, but he says not happy when a young man has to go to prison.

More than a dozen audience members, including William Wright, personally thanked McDonald after the trial was over.

Kimberly Jaeger, 23, formerly of Burlington testified during the trial that she saw Hobbs hit Wright with the mallet after stopping at the farmhouse on their way back from a trip to Keokuk.

She was Hobbs' girlfiend at the time of the murder.

Hobbs, though, testified that it was Jaeger who actually hit Wright with the mallet.  Hobbs said he had walked away from the car, but returned after hearing a shriek.

The testimony of both Hobbs and Jaeger dominated discussion during closing arguments.