MASON CITY | In a stream of handwritten letters from his jail cell, a Mason City man accused of homicide claims his rights have been violated based on his race.
Larry Whaley has written four letters to Cerro Gordo County District Court Judge Christopher Foy since April, with three letters penned in August.
The letters echo some of the concerns raised in the dozen letters from March to April this year. Whaley has expressed concerns that his rights are being violated, his attorneys are lying to him, evidence is being withheld, his cell phone and car were stolen and that there was witness tampering in his case.
“Couching (sic) witnesses. Or should I say tampering,” he wrote April 23.
Whaley, 61, is accused of shooting 19-year-old Samantha Teeter on Dec. 2 through the door of his apartment at 116 17th St. S.E.
Police say Teeter, who was in the hallway, was hit once in the head. She died two days later.
Whaley has pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder.
More recently Whaley wrote to the judge asking for his cell phone records, 911 call records, police reports and for a change of venue. He believes his constitutional rights are being violated and that he is experiencing discrimination based on race, according to the letters.
“Don’t black lives matter in this county,” Whaley wrote on Aug. 6.
On Aug. 17, Whaley wrote, “I feel discrimination based on my color, it is violating my constitutional rights.”
In April, Whaley offered a plea in a letter dated April 13.
"I am willing to make a plea agreement," Whaley wrote. "Want to leave this county at once wit (sic) time serve (sic)."
Whaley claims that his previous public defender, Susan Flander, told him that he “cannot get a fair trial in Cerro Gordo County.”
Flander told the Globe Gazette she would not comment on whether or not she told or did not tell him that statement. She also said she would not comment on a case she removed herself from.
“So why haven’t my new counsel ask for change of venue,” Whaley asked in a letter on Aug 17.
Flander was allowed to resign as his attorney on April 13. In her request to withdraw, she cited a conflict of interest with a witness, as well as Whaley's repeated requests for a new attorney.
Foy appointed the State Public Defender's Special Defense Unit to take her place.
His current attorneys are Michael Adams and Jill Eimerman. Whaley said that since his new counsel was assigned, he had only met with Adams twice as of Aug. 17.
Adams didn’t immediately respond to phone message or email left by the Globe Gazette Friday.
He repeats in several letters that he is an honorably discharged Marine.
Foy has issued several orders acknowledging receiving the letters.
“Defendant appears to be repeating matters that he referenced in earlier letters, but it still is not clear to the Court exactly what relief or action Defendant is seeking,” Foy said in an order referencing letters filed Aug. 7 and Aug. 9. “Because Defendant is represented by counsel, the Court intends to take no further action on the issues or concerns described by Defendant in either of these letters unless and until they are properly made the subject of an appropriate motion or application filed by his current attorneys, Michael Adams and Jill Eimerman.”
Foy made similar statements referencing other letters, including one filed Aug. 18.
His attorneys notified the court that Whaley plans to say he acted in defense of himself or others.
In a March 6 letter, he told the judge he fired into the door because he believed two people he knew were breaking into his apartment and that killing Teeter was an accident.
Whaley wrote that he bought handgun to protect himself.
A motion filed April 6, which was prosecutors resisted, said the pair had access to Whaley's apartment and vehicle the night Teeter was shot.
Whaley maintains that his car was given away without his consent, his phone is “gone from property” and that evidence is being withheld.
His is scheduled for 9 a.m. Nov. 13. Six days have been allotted for trial, according to court documents.
Whaley remains incarcerated at the Cerro Gordo County Jail on $500,000 bond.