CLINTON, Iowa  — A court has upheld the first-degree murder conviction of a Clinton man who shot his 24-year-old girlfriend.

The Iowa Court of Appeals on Thursday rejected Jason Tate’s claim that he accidentally shot Kelsey Stahl in the neck in December 2010 while showing her his new revolver.

The court says prosecutors had enough evidence to convince jurors that Tate “willfully and deliberately shot” Stahl and intended to kill.

The ruling notes Tate left Stahl’s body in a locked apartment after the shooting, never called for emergency assistance and tried to hide the murder weapon. The court says Tate fled to Illinois in Stahl’s car before he was arrested days later in Chicago.

The panel says evidence suggesting Tate had an abusive relationship with Stahl was also properly allowed during the trial.

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