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Former Charles City teen who murdered young girl loses appeal

This news story was published on March 6, 2021.
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DES MOINES – A former Charles City teen who is now a man serving two life sentences in prison for sexually abusing and murdering his toddler cousin has lost another appeal in his case.

Edgar Concepcion Jr. was just 14 years old in 2009 when he committed the crimes of felony A first degree murder and felony A first degree sexual abuse in the death of his cousin, 3-year-old Krystel Barnes. He was sentenced in 2010 to life in prison on both counts by a jury. He has been incarcerated ever since.

On September 28, 2013, Attorney Michael Adams filed a motion in Floyd County District Court for re-sentencing, and an appeal on the conviction had been filed in 2011.

According to the Appeals Court ruling, Concepcion Jr. appealed his convictions following a jury trial to murder in the first degree, sexual abuse in the first degree, sexual abuse in the second degree, and child endangerment, as well as his sentence to life without parole. On appeal, he asserted forty-seven claims, including constitutional challenges to various aspects of the proceeding, a sufficiency of the evidence challenge, and a claim his sentence to life without parole constitutes cruel and unusual punishment.

The appeals court concluded in a January 9, 2014 ruling that the majority of Concepcion’s claims are either waived, not preserved, or without merit and upheld his convictions.

However, pursuant to a recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling, Concepcion’s sentence to life without parole must be vacated, the Appeals Court ruled.

“Consequently, we affirm his convictions but vacate his sentences to first degree murder, first degree sexual abuse, and second degree sexual abuse, and remand for a new sentencing hearing as to those three counts,” the ruling stated.

In 2016, Concepcion Jr. was re-sentenced to life in prison with a chance at parole.

An appeal was filed, and Concepcion contended: (1) he was actually innocent of the crimes, (2) his trial attorney was ineffective in failing to challenge his competency to stand trial and the trial court violated his due process rights by failing to suspend the trial to assess his competency, (3) certain medical testimony was inadmissible under recent precedent, (4) his trial attorney was ineffective in stipulating to probable cause for detention, and (5) the interrogation method used by law enforcement officers was unconstitutional. A decision was reached this week by the Iowa court of appeals. The court found sufficient evidence to support Concepcion’s convictions based on “Concepcion’s confession” and corroborating evidence in “medical reports and the testimony of the examining doctors.” Concepcion, now 26-years-old, is now back in the Iowa State Penitentiary in Fort Madison.

Edgar Concepcion Jr. moved to the United States from the Philippines in 2006 with his parents. He had intermediate English-speaking skills at the time of his 2009 crimes.

According to court documents made public, in 2009, the parents of Krystel Barnes, then a three-year-old child, entrusted Concepcion and his cousins to watch her while they were at work. Over a period of approximately three weeks, Concepcion repeatedly sexually abused Krystel. On July 10, 2009, Concepcion was again watching Krystel while her parents worked. Krystel informed Concepcion she had to vomit, so Concepcion took her to the bathroom where he sexually assaulted her. While Krystel was lying on the floor of the bathroom, Concepcion sat on her torso and pushed “hard” on her chest. Concepcion strangled Krystel until her “eyes rolled back in her head” and she was “weak.” Concepcion then carried Krystel upstairs and his sister called 911. At that point, Concepcion described Krystel as “her eyes are like closing and then her mouth’s like purple.” An ambulance arrived and transported Krystel to the hospital, where she was pronounced dead. Concepcion and his family went to the hospital where he as well as various family members were interviewed by police. No Miranda warnings were given to Concepcion nor was an official translator provided; however, Concepcion’s interview was recorded. Concepcion made incriminating statements.


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One Response to Former Charles City teen who murdered young girl loses appeal

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    Anonymous Reply Report comment

    March 7, 2021 at 8:52 am

    They should have just hung the S.O.B.