Jeremy Cory was found guilty Friday in the brutal slaying of his wife, whose body wasn’t found for several days while Cory remained in the house drinking.
The jury found Cory, 44, of Cambridge, guilty of first-degree murder in the shooting death of his wife, Vallerie, 49. Her body was discovered by police in an upstairs bedroom of the couple’s home. She had been shot 18 times.
Vallerie’s sister and niece and a number of co-workers from the Bridgestone Firestone plant in Des Moines, where both the Corys worked, spent the day Friday in the Story County Attorney’s Office waiting for a verdict after the nearly three-week trial.
Vallerie’s family members did not wish to comment publicly on the jury’s decision.
The guilty verdict was delivered Friday afternoon after about five hours of deliberation at the Story County Courthouse in Nevada.
Members of Cory’s family, including both his parents and their spouses, arrived just after District Court Judge James McGlynn read the verdict. Cory’s daughter and ex-wife were visibly upset as McGlynn set the sentencing date for Aug. 29.
Cory appeared to rest his face on his hands as he sat between his attorneys, and looked straight ahead when officers escorted him from the courtroom.
"Justice was not served today," Cory’s father, Roger Cory, said as he left the courthouse.
"A lot of the evidence that would have helped him was given while the jury wasn’t in the room," Roger Cory said.
Katherine Flickinger, one of Cory’s defense attorneys, said they "were disappointed in the verdict, and we plan on an appeal."
When asked if she felt Cory had a fair trial given the amount of evidence the jury was not allowed to hear, Flickinger said "probably not."
She declined to say if they would use a different defense approach if granted an appeal.
In pre-trial motions, Judge McGlynn ruled the defense wasn’t allowed to present any evidence about Cory’s alleged chronic alcoholism, since they hadn’t filed a notice of using an intoxication defense.
Story County Attorney Stephen Holmes said the pre-trial rulings were "well-vetted" and were gone over multiple times by both parties and the judge, and were based on the defense’s decision not to file an affirmative defense.
Holmes said the evidence was "complete and compelling," and that the investigation by the Huxley Police Department and the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation allowed them to put together "a convincing case."
Police found Vallerie’s body in the upstairs bedroom of the couple’s home on April 14 after one of her co-workers asked police to check on her because she hadn’t been seen or heard from in multiple days.
Dennis Klein, the deputy Iowa state medical examiner, testified during the trial that he couldn’t tell exactly how long Vallerie had been dead before she was found, but that it was at least two days.
Holmes, during his closing argument, said that based on when Vallerie stopped responding to text messages and phone calls from friends and her son, he believed she died April 9.
During the trial, Huxley police officers and a DCI agent recounted how Cory gave them multiple conflicting stories about what had happened when they interviewed him the night Vallerie was found. At one point, Cory told police he had come home to find her dead, and had been "pounding beers" ever since.
Cory will continue to be held at the Story County Jail until he is formally sentenced. Cory faces a mandatory sentence of life in prison.