MASON CITY | A North Iowa man found guilty of two counts of first-degree murder and one count of attempted murder in July has filed an appeal.

Peter Veal, 31, Lake Mills, is seeking an appeal on his final judgement and sentence of two consecutive life sentences plus 25 years.

The appeal was filed in Cerro Gordo County District Court Sept. 20 by Veal’s attorneys, public defenders Steven Kloberdanz and Nellie D. O’Mara.

Mindy Kavars died of a gunshot wound to the throat Nov. 17 at a residence in the 1600 block of North Hampshire Avenue in Mason City, police said. Caleb Christensen died of multiple stab wounds.

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Veal was also convicted of attempting to kill Ron Willis, who was also in the house that night. Willis testified Veal pointed a gun at his head and pulled the trigger, but the gun didn't fire.

In closing arguments during the trial in July, Kloberdanz claimed Willis was the one who fatally shot Kavars and stabbed Christensen to death.

The prosecution called it “quite a story.” The defense claimed the comment constituted prosecutorial misconduct, which Judge Rustin Davenport denied.

Veal asked, by letter, for a new trial. In the letter dated Sept. 3, he said the story Kloberdanz told in court was false.

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Davenport denied his request for a new trial, saying the verdicts are not a miscarriage of justice.

The mandatory sentence in Iowa for first-degree murder is life in prison without the possibility of parole.

Veal was also ordered to pay $150,000 each to the families of Kavars and Christiansen. 

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