Judge dismisses defamation case tied to 1983 ranch slayings
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) —
A judge has dismissed a defamation lawsuit against authorities who unsuccessfully sought to convict an Iowa woman in the 1983 deaths of her estranged husband and his girlfriend.
U.S. District Judge Rebecca Goodgame Ebinger ruled that Theresa Supino's defamation claims against Jasper County officials lacked adequate legal basis.
Authorities charged Supino in 2014 in the deaths of 20-year-old Steven Fisher and 17-year-old Melisa Gregory, who were found bludgeoned inside a trailer at a horse ranch. Supino was married to Fisher but separated.
Supino was acquitted at a 2015 trial. Afterward, she filed suit against Sheriff John Halferty and County Attorney Mike Jacobsen, saying she was defamed by statements implying she was guilty even after the acquittal.
The judge says Supino can't sue under the U.S. constitution for "reputational harms" and that she failed to sufficiently plead a state claim.