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Burglary conviction of Mason City man upheld

DES MOINES – A Mason City man’s conviction on a charge of first degree burglary was upheld Thursday by the Iowa Court of Appeals.

Keith Gresham appealed his conviction for burglary in the first degree, claiming the conviction was not supported by substantial evidence, and alternatively, the conviction was contrary to the weight of the evidence. Gresham also argued that trial counsel was ineffective for failing to file a motion to dismiss based on the failure of a judge to approve the trial information.

The court concluded that sufficient evidence supports the guilty verdict, and it affirmed his conviction.

According to court documents, on May 17, 2012, Gresham was at the home of Brenda Askildson in Mason City, socializing with former girlfriend, Jill Walker, and others. Alcohol and crack cocaine were consumed by all present. Gresham left Askildson’s residence at about 10:00 p.m., then returned at approximately 4:00 the next morning. The front door was locked, but Gresham broke the glass door and gained entry. At trial, Askildson testified she had been asleep on the couch but awakened and opened the door at the same time Gresham broke the glass.

Gresham, in an agitated state, demanded to know where Walker was and threw beer cans at Askildson. Askildson informed Gresham that Walker and another male identified as “Sammy” were in the bedroom. Gresham went to the bedroom, told “Sammy” to leave, then proceeded to beat Walker with his fists and a belt, leaving her with a broken nose, severe bruising, and a fractured vertebra.

Fearing for her own safety, Askildson ran to a nearby gas station, locked herself in the restroom, and called 911. She refused to come out of the restroom until police arrived and identified themselves as officers. She informed the police she was fearful Gresham would kill her if he saw her. At the gas station, Askildson told her good friend, Sheila Wiles, that Gresham broke into the residence because Askildson had refused to open the door.

Gresham, now age 50, was arrested and charged with burglary in the first degree. He waived his right to a jury trial and proceeded with a bench trial on October 3, 2012. On October 26, the district court found Gresham guilty of burglary and the lesser included offense of willful injury. He is serving 25 years at the Fort Dodge Correctional Facility..

Keith Cornnell Gresham WILL STAY IN PRISON
Keith Cornnell Gresham

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