Kozak guilty of murder in Coral Ridge shooting


The Gazette

Alexander Kozak talks with defense attorney Alfredo Parrish after the prosecution's opening statement in in Kozak's trial at the Story County Courthouse in Nevada on Thursday, April 14, 2016. Alexander Kozak is charged with first-degree murder in connection with the 2015 shooting death of Andrea Farrington at the Coral Ridge Mall. (Pool photo by Liz Martin/The Gazette)

Tom Ackerman and Bill Cooney, [email protected] [email protected]


A jury on Monday in Nevada, Iowa, found Alexander Kozak guilty of first-degree murder in the June 2015 Coral Ridge Mall shooting.

Kozak, 23, killed Andrea Farrington by shooting her three times in the back while she was working at the Children’s Museum information booth. The State Patrol arrested him later on Interstate-80, and he reportedly confessed to the shooting.

Before the jury read the decision Monday afternoon, both sides offered their closing arguments to a teary-eyed courtroom.

Kozak’s attorney, Alfredo Parrish, argued that Kozak deserved “diminished responsibility” in the case because of mental-health concerns, mainly borderline personality disorder.

“He’s not insane; nobody is saying he’s insane,” Parrish said. “We’re saying his responsibility is diminished.”

Parrish argued Kozak had committed a crime of passion, based on the relationship he had with Farrington and the anger that came from the end of it.

Johnson County prosecutor Janet Lyness said Kozak knew exactly what he was doing.

“He knew what he did. This wasn’t a mistake,” Lyness said. “This wasn’t because of some mental defect. He did it because he wanted to. He did it because he was jealous and he was mad. He wanted Andrea to pay the price for bruising his pride.”

Sixth Judicial District Judge Christopher Burns addressed the sensitivity of the issue and asked those waiting on the verdict in the courtroom to remain quiet.

“This is a courtroom. It is a place of decorum,” he said. “If you feel you are unable to sit in relative quiet when I take the verdict, then I would ask that you step out so that we can maintain relative quiet.”

Lyness’ closing argument was highly emotional. She showed Farrington’s shirt from her job at the Children’s Museum. It was held together but torn from three gun shots.

“We have seen no violence from Kozak before,” Lyness said. “There is nothing to support this diagnosis [of poor mental health].”

Lyness said there was clear intent because Kozak came well-prepared, armed with a fully loaded ammunition box and extra clips for his pistol. Kozak also came to work without his uniform and avoided as many cameras as possible by parking by the Children’s Museum, she said.

When Kozak threw his gun into the garbage compactor and fled from the scene, Lyness said, clear intent was displayed, which resulted in the decision to charge Kozak with first-degree murder.

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