Today, March 1, 2016, in Muscatine County District Court:
HIRAM ANTONIO SERRANO, SR., 51, pleaded guilty today to voluntary manslaughter and burglary in the second degree. The plea agreement calls for him to serve a 20-year prison sentence.
Serrano had been charged with murder in the first degree in connection with the death of Theresa Jackson. Serrano attacked Jackson on November 14, 1990, causing serious injuries including paralysis. Serrano was arrested and charged with attempt to commit murder and willful injury. He was convicted following a jury trial and sentenced to serve an indeterminate term of not to exceed 35 years.
Jackson lived as a quadriplegic after the attack. She had a variety of medical complications due to her condition. She died October 5, 2012, at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics. The medical examiner later determined that because she died of complications of her original injuries that her death was a homicide.
Serrano was charged with Jackson's murder in February, 2013.
Muscatine County Attorney Alan R. Ostergren had the following statement:
"This was a very unusual case from the very beginning. It is uncommon for the victim of an assault to die from the injuries almost 22 years later. Evidence and court records had been lost and witness memories had faded. Thankfully the Iowa Attorney General's office was able to locate their copy of the original trial transcript. This allowed us to start the process to build the case to charge Mr. Serrano again.
"It was important to me to achieve a result which held him accountable for Theresa's death but also took into account that Mr. Serrano has lived a crime-free life since his release from prison. This case presents in a very unusual way the conflict between punishment and rehabilitation. It is my hope that this outcome achieves what we always want: justice for all concerned.
"I would like to thank the Muscatine Police Department and the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation for their work on this case."
Serrano will be sentenced April 21, 2016, at 1:30 p.m. In accordance with Iowa law the Court revoked his bond after the guilty plea. He will remain in custody until sentencing.