Dorothy de Souza Guedes/CLINTON BUREAU/March 29, 2001
CLINTON, Iowa Tony Curtis was sentenced to 10 years in prison Wednesday for his role in the death of a Clinton strip club manager, while his younger brother faces a life prison sentence today for a first-degree murder conviction.
Tony, 29, of Lost Nation, was sentenced on the lesser charge of voluntary manslaughter in the death of Don Davidson two years ago. He was scheduled to go to trial next Monday, but pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter March 23.
Clinton County Attorney Mike Wolf said the sentence was an appropriate outcome to the case, but there are no winners in a homicide.
"One victim is dead, and we have two ruined lives in the aftermath of that," Wolf said.
District Judge James E. Kelley said according to Curtis' plea agreement, the burglary charge was dismissed and he agreed to pay Davidson's estate $150,000, half of which would be paid by James Curtis. Tony Curtis also agreed to assist the state if James Curtis would be granted a new trial upon appeal. Tony Curtis also will be required to pay a $1,000 fine and $1,358 in costs and fees.
In court with his attorney, David Zimmerman, Curtis declined to make a statement before he was sentenced.
Zimmerman said he did not anticipate filing an appeal on behalf of his client. He noted that his fees for defending Curtis on court appointment came to about $29,200.
There is no mandatory minimum of the sentence to be served, so it will be up to the Iowa Department of Corrections board of parole to determine how long Curtis will remain in prison. He will receive credit for 275 days spent in Clinton County Jail while awaiting trial.
Meanwhile, his younger brother will be sentenced this morning in Clinton County District Court after being convicted of the May 13, 1998, beating and stabbing death of Davidson.
James Curtis, 21, faces a mandatory life sentence for first-degree murder and up to 25 years in prison for first-degree burglary. He was convicted after a six-day trial earlier this month.
The sentencing comes exactly a year after investigators say he confessed to stabbing Davidson in the neck with a broken pop bottle while he and his brother were at Davidson's lower-level apartment, hoping to use him to gain entry into the upstairs apartment of Club 110 owner Robert Labak. Labak was known to have large sums of cash on hand.
The brothers were arrested in June and charged with first-degree murder and first-degree robbery.