Attorney’s Office

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Note: Disposition reports will be removed after sixty days. If you need more information about a case, you can contact the clerk of court or do a case search on Iowa Courts Online.

Felony Case Summary (Week of 3/6/17)

Monday, March 13, 2017

On March 7, 2017, Joe Brooks was sentenced for the crime of Possession of a Controlled Substance With Intent to Deliver, a Class C felony, in case number FE297975.  He was sentenced to a maximum indeterminate term of incarceration of ten (10) years with a mandatory one-third term he must serve prior to becoming eligible for parole, but this sentence was suspended, over the State’s objection, and he was placed on probation for five years. This defendant was prosecuted by the Polk County Attorney’s Office Drug and Gang Bureau.

On March 7, 2017, Joseph Joshua was sentenced for the crime of Possession of a Controlled Substance With Intent to Deliver, a Class C felony, as a second or subsequent offender, in case number FE297975.  He was sentenced to a maximum indeterminate term of incarceration of fifteen (15) years with a mandatory one-third term he must serve prior to becoming eligible for parole, consecutive to his probation violation sentences. This defendant was prosecuted by the Polk County Attorney’s Office Drug and Gang Bureau.

On March 7, 2017, Linda Heikes plead guilty to the crimes of Possession of a Controlled Substance With Intent to Deliver, a Class C felony, and two counts of Failure to Possess a Tax Stamp, Class D felonies, in case number FE291513.  She will be sentenced on April 17, 2017 and faces a maximum indeterminate term of incarceration of ten (10) years, with a mandatory one-third term she must serve prior to becoming eligible for parole, five (5) years and five (5) years. This defendant was prosecuted by the Polk County Attorney’s Office Drug and Gang Bureau.

On March 10, 2017, Aalonzo Hayes appeared in Polk County District Court in criminal number FECR297325 for sentencing.  Hayes earlier pleaded guilty to Conspiracy to Deliver a Controlled Substance (marijuana).  Hayes was granted a deferred judgment and placed on probation for a period of two years.  He must pay a $750.00 civil penalty.  Hayes was prosecuted by the Polk County Attorney's Office Drug and Gang Bureau.

Felony Case Summary (Week of 2/27/17)

Tuesday, March 07, 2017

On February 28, 2017, Daizhon Turner plead guilty to the crime of Possession of a Controlled Substance With Intent to Deliver, a Class C felony, in case number FE299141.  He will be sentenced on April 18, 2017 at 11:00 a.m. and faces a maximum indeterminate term of incarceration of ten (10) years, with a mandatory one-third term he must serve prior to becoming eligible for parole. This defendant was prosecuted by the Polk County Attorney’s Office Drug and Gang Bureau.

On February 28, 2017, Melissa Nicole Housely appeared in Polk County District Court in criminal number FECR298827 for sentencing.  Housely was granted a deferred judgment for the crimes of Possession of a Controlled Substance (methamphetamine) and Child Endangerment.  Housely was placed on probation for three years. Housely was prosecuted by the Polk County Attorney's Office Drug and Gang Bureau.

On March 1, 2017, Zachary Mead-Ostrander was sentenced for the crime of Delivery of a Controlled Substance a Class B felony, in case number FE295554.  He was sentenced to a maximum indeterminate term of incarceration of twenty-five (25) years with a mandatory one-third term he must serve prior to becoming eligible for parole. The Court granted the defendant a one-third reduction of this mandatory minimum for the entry of his plea and ordered that he serve 50% of this sentence prior to becoming eligible for parole.  This defendant was prosecuted by the Polk County Attorney’s Office Drug and Gang Bureau.

On March 3, 2017, Christopher Morwitzer plead guilty to the crime of Conspiracy to Deliver a Controlled Substance, a Class C felony, in case number FE300835.  He will be sentenced on April 18, 2017 at 10:00 a.m. and faces a maximum indeterminate term of incarceration of ten (10) years with a mandatory one-third term he must serve prior to becoming eligible for parole. This defendant was prosecuted by the Polk County Attorney’s Office Drug and Gang Bureau.

On March 3, 2017, Raeshella Kohler plead guilty to the crime of Conspiracy to Deliver a Controlled Substance, a Class C felony, in case number FE300824.  She will be sentenced on April 18, 2017 at 10:30 a.m. and faces a maximum indeterminate term of incarceration of ten (10) years with a mandatory one-third term she must serve prior to becoming eligible for parole. This defendant was prosecuted by the Polk County Attorney’s Office Drug and Gang Bureau.

Felony Case Summary (Feb 2017)

Monday, February 27, 2017

On February 7, 2017, Dan Kudron plead guilty to the crime of Conspiracy to Deliver a Controlled Substance, a Class C felony, and Failure to Possess a Tax Stamp, a Class D felony, in case number FE296831.  He will be sentenced on March 23, 2017 at 1:30 p.m. and faces a maximum indeterminate term of incarceration of ten (10) years and five (5) years.  This defendant was prosecuted by the Polk County Attorney’s Office Drug and Gang Bureau.

On February 7, 2017, Heather Clark plead guilty and was sentenced for the crimes of Possession of a Controlled Substance, Third Offense, two counts, and Failure to Possess a Tax Stamp, Class D felonies, in case number FE296828.  She was sentenced to a maximum indeterminate term of incarceration of five (5) years on each count, consecutive, but this sentence was suspended and she was placed on probation.  This defendant was prosecuted by the Polk County Attorney’s Office Drug and Gang Bureau.

On February 14, 2017, Jamale Dixon plead guilty to the crime of Possession of a Controlled Substance With Intent to Deliver, a Class B felony, as a second or subsequent offender, in case number FE299879.  He will be sentenced on March 28, 2017 at 10:00 a.m. and faces a maximum indeterminate term of incarceration of seventy-five (75) years with a mandatory one-third term he must serve prior to becoming eligible for parole. This defendant was prosecuted by the Polk County Attorney’s Office Drug and Gang Bureau.

On February 15, 2017, Maleek Prince Johnson appeared in Polk County District Court in criminal numbers FECR292056 and FECR292317.  Johnson pleaded guilty to the crimes of Intimidation With a Dangerous Weapon and Going Armed With Intent in FECR292056 and Robbery in the Second Degree in FECR292317.  Johnson will be sentenced in April of 2017.  Johnson is being prosecuted by the Polk County Attorney's Office Drug and Gang Bureau.

On February 21, 2017, Michelle Houghton plead guilty and was sentenced for the crimes of Conspiracy to Deliver a Controlled Substance, three counts, a Class C felony and two aggravated misdemeanors, and Failure to Possess a Tax Stamp, two counts, Class D felonies, in case number FE299011.  She was sentenced to a maximum indeterminate term of incarceration of ten (10) years, two (2) years, two (2) years, five (5) years and five (5) years, consecutive for a total of 24 years, with a mandatory one-third term she must serve prior to becoming eligible for parole on the ten year term. This defendant was prosecuted by the Polk County Attorney’s Office Drug and Gang Bureau.

On February 21, 2017, Philip Moss plead guilty to the crimes of Possession of a Controlled Substance, two counts, serious misdemeanors, and Failure to Possess a Tax Stamp, two counts, Class D felonies, in case number FE297416.  Judgment was deferred and he was placed on probation. This defendant was prosecuted by the Polk County Attorney’s Office Drug and Gang Bureau.

On February 23, 2017, Christopher Jontz plead guilty and was sentenced for the crime of Possession of a Controlled Substance With Intent to Deliver, a Class B felony, as a second or subsequent offender, in case number FE301100.  He was sentenced to a maximum indeterminate term of incarceration of thirty-five (35) years, consecutive to his parole revocation, with a mandatory one-third term he must serve prior to becoming eligible for parole. This defendant was prosecuted by the Polk County Attorney’s Office Drug and Gang Bureau.

On February 23, 2017, Tamara Garrison stipulated that she had violated her probation in FECR275838 and her probation was revoked and the original sentence of ten years was imposed.  She was on probation for the crime of  Possession of a Controlled Substance With Intent to Deliver, a Class C felony. This defendant was prosecuted by the Polk County Attorney’s Office Drug and Gang Bureau.

On February 24, 2017, Hector Jose Tejeda, Jr. appeared in Polk County District Court in criminal number FECR300534.  Tejeda pleaded guilty and was sentenced for the crime of Possession of a Controlled Substance With Intent to Deliver (in excess of five grams of methamphetamine).  Tejeda was sentenced to a term of imprisonment not to exceed 25 years and must serve a mandatory minimum one-third of his sentence before being eligible for parole.  His mandatory minimum sentence was reduced by one-third for his acceptance of responsibility.  Tejeda was prosecuted by the Polk County Attorney's Office Drug and Gang Bureau.

On February 24, 2017, Michael Cason appeared in Polk County District Court in criminal number FECR288793 for sentencing.  Cason had been found guilty by a jury of Murder in the First Degree for the September, 2015 shooting death of Trenton Washington near King Park in Des Moines.  Cason was sentenced to prison for the remainder of his life without the possibility of parole.  Cason was prosecuted by the Polk County Attorney's Office Drug and Gang Bureau.

OWI Report (Jan 2017)

Monday, February 06, 2017

One Hundred forty DEFENDANTS SENTENCED FOR OWI THE MONTH OF January 2017

One hundred forty defendants were prosecuted for Operating While under the Influence (OWI) in Polk County Associate District Courts in the month of January 2017.

One hundred three of those defendants were prosecuted for OWI First Offense. OWI First Offense is a Serious Misdemeanor, punishable by a maximum sentence of one year in county jail and a maximum fine of $1,250. The Court MUST impose a minimum sentence of two days in the county jail and a fine of $1,250, upon conviction. Blood alcohol levels are shown below in parentheses. DRE indicates that the conviction was based upon use of drugs other than just alcohol. REF means that the defendant refused the chemical test. A deferred judgment (non-conviction) is usually available to those defendants who test below .150 for an OWI First Offense. The State of Iowa has a legislatively set, presumptive level of intoxication of .08.

Those defendants appearing for sentencing for OWI First Offense in this reporting period were:  

Tristan Adams, (REF); Roger Bados Cruz, (0.158); Tobin Barnes, (0.219); Everett Bates, (0.125); Elijah Belgar, (0.208); Raymond Bertrand, (REF); Porfirio Blanco-Montero, (0.143); Elizabeth Bossenberger, (0.17); Kerry Broquist, (REF); Jody Carnes, (0.136); Carmen Carrasco, (0.181); Gumercindo Carrillo Trujillo, (0.166); Gumercindo Carrillo Trujillo, (0.262); Brandon Carter, (0.111); Danny Casto, (0.222); Alan Castro Juarez, (DRE); Cody Catron, (0.156); Robert Ceretti, (.287); Benito Contreras Lira, (0.156); Demetrio Cortes, (0.21); Benjamin Cromer, (0.171); Shanna Curtis, (DRE); Lisa Dang, (DRE); Juan Delossantos, (0.088); Justin Dierks, (0.158); Melissa Donels, (DRE); Abie Durst, (REF); Christy Field, (0.223); Ryan Flanery, (0.165); Troy Gehrke, (0.153); Chase Gill, (0.101); Lawrence Gipson, (REF); Jason Grady, (REF); Justin Greenwood, (0.18); Scott Grimes, (REF); Michael Guthrie, (0.11); Ethan Hansen, (REF); Brent Hansen, (REF); Shadale Henderson, (REF); Heath Hill, (0.177); Devlin Hogans, (0.149); Terry Howard, (REF); Lephanie Jenkins, (REF); Christy Johnson, (0.159); Courtney Jones, (0.264); Haris Karajic, (DRE); Perry Kaster, (0.197); Rodney Ledbetter, (.211/DRE); Zeng Kong Lee, (REF); David Leinen, (0.216); Van Lian, (0.225); Linfoung Ly, (0.106); Tyler McAninch, (REF); Cole McCombs, (.152); Calvin McGahuey, (0.236); Alberto Menes, (0.183); Edwin Moore, (.185); Jamarkus Mozee, (0.154); Daniel Nelson, (REF); Andrew Parrish, (REF); Dustin Perez, (REF); Nathaniel Powless, (DRE); Sara Prochaska, (0.15); Prabesh Rai, (0.172); Ezra Reiners, (REF); Brandy Robinson, (0.136); David Rodarte, (0.159); Thomas Rossley III, (REF); Amber Ruiz, (0.133); Heather Rumsey, (0.186); Ronald Sanchez, (0.119); Scott Sands, (0.151); Blendo Sarceno Salguero, (0.161); Michele Schulte, (.115); Kevin Seay, (0.086); Tammy Seeley, (0.167); Jesus Segovia, (REF); Alyssa Septer, (DRE); Dominique Settles, (DRE); James Short, (REF); Sherry Shull, (0.119); Jesse Sink, (0.168); Christopher Skelton, (REF); Monica Sochit, (REF); Rodolfo Suarez Rubio, (0.182); Abby Sullivan, (REF); Anthony Taylor, (DRE); Connie Terry, (0.122); Rick Thielen, (0.117); Tony Thomas, (0.221); Ethan Vanderschel, (REF); Jeffrey VanHouten, (0.184); James Vivian, (REF); Richard Way, (REF); Danielle Weiner, (REF); Justin Whipple, (0.226); Jaymi White, (0.245); Kevin Wisecup, (0.15); Lee Wolfe, (DRE); Dominic Wood, (REF); Austin Woodside, (0.124); Jon Wright, (0.142); Hatred Yahkwenneh, (REF).

Of those defendants sentenced for OWI First Offense this report, thirty-four had a test of .160 (twice the legal limit) or greater. The low chemical test among the group was .086 and the high test was .287 (more than THREE times the legal limit). Ten defendants were prosecuted based upon their use of drugs other than just alcohol (denoted by “DRE”) and thirty refused chemical testing (denoted by “REF”).

Thirty-two defendants appeared for sentencing for OWI Second Offense. OWI Second Offense is an Aggravated Misdemeanor punishable by up to two years in prison and a fine of up to $6,250. The Court MUST impose a minimum sentence of seven days in county jail and a minimum fine of $1,875, upon conviction of OWI Second Offense.

Those defendants appearing for sentencing for OWI Second Offense in this reporting period were:

Nicholas Bannor, (0.171); Trammell Bass, (.028/DRE); James Boots, (REF); Jarrod Brown, (REF); Mathew Bunting, (0.149); Bandak Deng, (REF); Steven Edwards, (REF); Aaron Ginn, (0.194); Nathan Head, (.055/REF); Kenneth Heck, (0.154); Virginia Hernandez, (.171); Bryan Jozwiak, (0.141); Renee Kasper, (0.196); Naradipo Keth, (0.096); Brooke Lasley Mauskemo, (REF); Jamer Lickteig, (REF); Wayne Light, (REF); Paul Maple, (0.157); Thomas Murphy, (.137); Miguel Nabor Santana, (0.213); Kelly New, (DRE/REF); Meghan Pleima, (0.282); Jason Powers, (REF); Ray Rice, (DRE/REF); Brian Riley, (0.259); Timothy Schlickman, (REF); Phillip Schmidt, (0.178); Caleb Stout, (0.292); Bir Man Tamang, (0.172); Kaylie Wilson, (0.215); Gregory Witting, (0.114); Tony Young, (0.156).

Of those defendants sentenced for OWI Second Offense who took a chemical test, those tests ranged from a low of .096 to a high of .292 (more than THREE times the legal limit). Nine of these defendants refused the chemical test.

There were five defendants sentenced this reporting period for OWI Third Offense.  OWI Third Offense is a Class D felony, punishable by up to five years in prison and by a fine of up to $9,375. The Court MUST sentence a defendant convicted of OWI Third Offense to a minimum of thirty days in county jail and a minimum fine of $3,125. The defendants appearing for sentencing for OWI Third Offense in this reporting period were: 

Raymond Burke, (0.106); Janelle Haselby, (REF); Donald Ingersoll, (0.368); James Sheppard, (REF); Daniel Wilson, (0.123).

These cases were prosecuted by attorneys assigned to the Intake and Screening Bureau of Polk County Attorney John Sarcone’s Office. For the month of January 2017, the attorneys directly responsible for handling this challenging, fast-paced and high volume docket were: Maurice Curry and Jordan Roling, and the support staff responsible for assisting were: Chelsey Wilson and Erica Zimmerman.

Felony Case Summary (Week of 1/30/17)

Monday, February 06, 2017

On January 30, 2017, Corey Burnsworth plead guilty and was sentenced for the crime of Possession of a Controlled Substance With Intent to Deliver, a Class C felony, in case number FE300063.  He was sentenced to a maximum indeterminate term of incarceration of ten (10) years with a mandatory one-third term he must serve prior to becoming eligible for parole. This defendant was prosecuted by the Polk County Attorney’s Office Drug and Gang Bureau.

On January 30, 2017, Kenneth Kirkpatrick was sentenced for the crime of Possession of a Controlled Substance With Intent to Deliver, a Class B felony, as a second or subsequent offender, and Failure to Possess a Tax Stamp, a Class D felony, in case number FE286635.  He was sentenced to a maximum indeterminate term of incarceration of thirty (30) years with a mandatory one-third term he must serve prior to becoming eligible for parole and five (5) years, consecutive, for a total of 35 years. This defendant was prosecuted by the Polk County Attorney’s Office Drug and Gang Bureau.

On January 30, 2017, Amy Renee Rice plead guilty to the crime of Possession of a Controlled Substance, Third Offense, a Class D felony, in case number SR299305.  She will be sentenced on March 21, 2017 at 1:30 p.m. and faces a maximum indeterminate term of incarceration of five (5) years. This defendant was prosecuted by the Polk County Attorney’s Office Drug and Gang Bureau.

On January 31, 2017, Charles Schreiner was sentenced to prison in Polk County Criminal Numbers FECR298348 and FECR298949 for the crimes of Possession, Receipt, Transportation or Dominion and Control Over a Firearm as a Convicted Felon (two counts) and Possession of a Controlled Substance (Third Offense).  The defendant was sentenced to five-year prison terms of each count.  The defendant was prosecuted by the Polk County Attorney’s Office Drug and Gang Bureau.

On January 31, 2017, Angelica Ramires pled guilty in Polk County Criminal Number FECR299950 to the crime of Possession, Receipt, Transportation or Dominion and Control Over a Firearm as a Convicted Felon.  Sentencing was set for a later date.  The defendant is being prosecuted by the Polk County Attorney’s Office Drug and Gang Bureau.

On January 31, 2017, Mary Harrison pled guilty in Polk County Criminal Number FECR297848 to the crime of Possession of a Controlled Substance with Intent to Deliver (marijuana).  Sentencing was set for a later date.  The defendant is being prosecuted by the Polk County Attorney’s Office Drug and Gang Bureau.

On January 31, 2017, Darius Armstead pled guilty in Polk County Criminal Number FECR299966 to the crime of Trafficking in Stolen Weapons.  Sentencing was set for a later date.  The defendant is being prosecuted by the Polk County Attorney’s Office Drug and Gang Bureau.

Felony Case Summary (Week of 1/23/17)

Monday, January 30, 2017

On January 24, 2017, Joel Brooks pled guilty in Polk County Criminal Number FECR297975 to the crime of Possession of a Controlled Susbtance with Intent to Deliver (PCP).  Sentencing was set for a later date.  The defendant is being prosecuted by the Polk County Attorney’s Office Drug and Gang Bureau.

On January 24, 2017, Joseph Joshua pled guilty in Polk County Criminal Number FECR299506 to the crime of Possession of a Controlled Susbtance with Intent to Deliver (cocaine) as a Second or Subsequent Offender.  Sentencing was set for a later date.  The defendant is being prosecuted by the Polk County Attorney’s Office Drug and Gang Bureau.

On January 24, 2017, Christopher Carpenter was sentenced in Polk County Criminal Number FECR299793 to a period not to exceed ten years for the crime of Possession of a Controlled Susbtance with Intent to Deliver (methamphetamine) and to period not to exceed five years for the crime of Possession of an Offensive Weapon.  The Court ordered the sentences to be served consecutively.  The defendant was prosecuted by the Polk County Attorney’s Office Drug and Gang Bureau.

On January 24, 2017, Christopher Dellaca was sentenced in Polk County Criminal Number FECR298303 to a period not to exceed ten years for the crime of Possession of a Controlled Susbtance with Intent to Deliver (methamphetamine).  The defendant was prosecuted by the Polk County Attorney’s Office Drug and Gang Bureau.

On January 24, 2017, Danny Earl Smith was sentenced in Polk County Criminal Number FECR292779 for a period not to exceed ten years for the crime of Possession of a Controlled Susbtance with Intent to Deliver (cocine base crack) .  Over the State's objection, the Court granted the defendant a suspended sentence and placed him on probation for a period of two years.  The defendant was prosecuted by the Polk County Attorney’s Office Drug and Gang Bureau.

On January 24, 2017, Oscar Pelayo Orozco was sentenced in Polk County Criminal Number FECR179003for a period not to exceed five years for the crime of Possession of a Controlled Susbtance with Intent to Deliver (marijuana) .  Over the State's objection, the Court granted the defendant a suspended sentence and placed him on probation for a period of two years.  The defendant was prosecuted by the Polk County Attorney’s Office Drug and Gang Bureau.

On January 25, 2017 defendant, Bethany Marie Ashly Castro, appeared for a plea and sentencing for the crime of Possession of Methamphetamine with Intent to Deliver, a Class C Felony, in Case No. FECR300442.  The Polk County District Court sentenced the defendant to a prison term not to exceed ten years with a mandatory minimum one-third which must be served prior to the defendant becoming eligible for parole.  This defendant was prosecuted by the Polk County Attorney Office's Drug and Gang Bureau.  

Keyon Harrison Verdict

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Harrison.PNGOn October 10, 2016, Keyon Harrison was convicted of Felony Murder in the First Degree for his participation in the shooting death of Aaron McHenry on November 7, 2014 near the intersection of 26th Street and Hickman Lane in Des Moines.  Sentencing is set for November 22, 2016 before the Honorable Judge Paul Scott. This case was prosecuted by Shannon Archer and Jeff Noble with the Polk County Attorney's Office.  The lead investigator for the Des Moines Police Department was Brad Youngblut. 

Wadsworth Verdict

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Wadsworth.PNGOn August 30, 2016 Norman Charles Wadsworth was found guilty by a Polk County jury of Murder in the Second Degree for the stabbing death of Darlene Crook. The stabbing occurred in the afternoon on October 15, 2014 at an apartment building located at 700 East 5th Street in Des Moines, Iowa.

The defendant previously lived in the apartment building, which was managed by the victim, Ms. Crook. Examination of the body showed that the defendant stabbed the victim approximately 70 times. The defendant was originally charged with Murder in the First Degree, but was convicted of the lesser-included offense following testimony presented by the defense regarding the defendant's mental health.

The Honorable Judge Paul Scott presided over the trial.

Sentencing is currently set for October 20, 2016 at 9:00 a.m. in Courtroom 209A of the Polk County Courthouse.  The defendant is currently being held in the Polk County Jail pending sentencing in this case.

Polk County Sheriff: Don't Fall for Phone Scams

Thursday, August 18, 2016

REMINDER - FRAUDULENT PHONE SCAMS REPORTED ACROSS POLK COUNTY

On Wednesday, August 17th a 79 year old woman received a phone call from a male suspect claiming to be her grandson. The suspect caller told the victim that she needed to send a MoneyGram in the amount of $2,000 so he could get out of jail. The suspect stated that he was involved in car accident and had a broken nose; this gave reason to the victim why the caller did not sound like her grandson.

A short time after sending the requested money the suspect called back stating that he needed an additional $2,000 since a baby had died in the accident. At this point the victim realized that the phone call was a scam and contacted authorities.

This type of activity is a crime and will be investigated and taken very seriously. Anyone receiving this type of telephone notification should not comply with payment. If a call like this is received, don’t offer revealing personal information and ask specific questions. Anything suspicious in nature should be reported to local law enforcement.

Click Here to see a list of some of the more popular phone scams being reported in Polk County.

Please be vigilant and spread the word to your friends, family and coworkers.

Nearly $90,000 in Victim Restitution Recovered

Friday, July 29, 2016

Thanks to the coordinated efforts of the Department of Human Services, the Polk County Sheriff’s Department and the Polk County Attorney's Office, a victim of elder financial exploitation has recovered $89,400.  The victim’s perpetrator was arrested, charged, and pled guilty to Dependent Adult Abuse – Financial Exploitation.  The perpetrator was granted a deferred judgment and placed on probation. 

In Iowa, a person that receives a deferred judgment must abide by all the terms of their probation, including paying Court fines and restitution, before their record is expunged.  Through the diligence of the Polk County Attorney Collection Unit and the Restorative Justice Center, the victim in this case was made whole and received payment in full for restitution. 

This case is an outstanding example of the steps taken to ensure that everyone involved received justice, including both the victim and the perpetrator.  The perpetrator can feel a sense of satisfaction that she was able to successfully complete her probation and have her record expunged--no easy feat considering the amount of the restitution involved.

Although the emotional scars may still remain, it is rewarding to know that the victim has been financially restored to a pre-crime level. 

Patrick Kirwan Sentencing

Monday, June 06, 2016

Kirwan.JPGOn June 3, 2016, Patrick Kirwan was sentenced after a jury convicted him of Murder in the Second Degree for the shooting death of his neighbor, Mark Hruska. Murder in the Second Degree carries a mandatory 50 year prison sentence with a requirement that he shall be denied parole or work release unless he has served at least seven-tenths of the maximum term of his sentence.  At the sentencing hearing the parents of the decedent gave powerful victim impact statements.  Mr. Kirwan declined to exercise his right of allocution.   Detective Brad Youngblut of the DMPD was the lead investigator on the case.  This case was prosecuted by Assistant Polk County Attorneys Michael Hunter and Mike Salvner, with the instrumental assistance of Legal Assistant Lindsay Morris.

Tarry Pote Sentencing

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Pote.JPGFormer Des Moines Police Officer Tarry Pote was sentenced on May 10, 2016 for a Class C Felony, Theft in the First Degree for theft of approximately $22,000 from the Des Moines Police Department Weight Lifting Club.  Pote’s request for a Deferred Judgment was denied.  The Honorable Judge William Kelly gave the defendant a ten year suspended sentence and two years of probation.  By prior agreement and in support of his request for probation, the defendant agreed to pay the full $22,000 in restitution on May 10, 2016.

Rodriguez Verdict Announced

Friday, May 06, 2016

Leyva.JPGOn May 6, 2016, a Polk County jury returned verdicts against defendant, Jonathan Leyva Rodriguez.  The defendant was charged with six crimes for events occurring in August of 2015.   Defendant struck and killed 41 year old Wade Franck and injured two other bike riders during the Urban Assault bicycling event.  After striking the riders, defendant fled the scene.  The jury convicted Rodriguez of Vehicular Homicide, Leaving the Scene of an Accident Resulting in Death, two counts of Leaving the Scene of a Personal Injury Accident, Driving While Barred and Driving While Intoxicated.   The case was prosecuted by Assistant Polk County Attorneys Mike Hunter and Olu Salami.  The lead investigators were Des Moines Police Officers Dom Ouimet and Mike Dixson.  Sentencing is set for June 17, 2016 at 8:30 a.m. in Courtroom 209A of the Polk County Courthouse before the Honorable Paul Scott.  

Please be safe.  Do not drink and drive.  

Kirwan Verdict

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Kirwan.JPGOn April 14, 2016 Patrick Kirwan was found guilty of Murder in the Second Degree for the death of Mark Hruska.  Hruska was shot seven times and killed March 1, 2015 at 321 SE Diehl St.  Des Moines, Iowa.

The case was investigated by the Des Moines Police Department, the Des Moines Police Department Identification Section, the Polk County Medical Examiner’s Office and the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation.  The lead investigator for the Des Moines Police Department was detective Brad Youngblut.

Sentencing is currently set for June 3, 2016 at 8:15 a.m. in Courtroom 208 of the Polk County Courthouse.  The defendant is currently being held in the Polk County Jail pending sentencing in this case.

Richard Shawhan Sentencing

Friday, April 15, 2016

Richard Gene Shawhan, a career criminal, was sentenced on April 14, 2016, to fifty years in prison for the beating death of Jeff Butts after being convicted by a jury of Murder in the Second Degree. In December 2014, Jeff let Shawhan stay with him as Shawhan had escaped and was on the run from the Fort Des Moines Correctional Facility.  On December 27, 2014, Shawhan, for unknown reasons, struck Jeff in the head three times with a baseball bat while Jeff was sleeping.  Jeff succumbed to his injuries on January 4, 2015.  Jeff is survived by his three children and his long-term girlfriend.  Shawhan will have to serve a minimum thirty-five years prior to be considered for parole.  

Lavelle McKinley Sentencing

Thursday, March 10, 2016

On January 16, 2013, Lavelle McKinley, age 42, was arrested and charged with Murder in the First Degree in the beating and strangulation death of Cynthia Rouse whose body was found in her Des Moines apartment on January 14, 2013.  This case took much longer than normal to resolve because of a pre-trial ruling made by the district court that McKinley’s public defenders should not be representing him because the public defender’s office had represented the victim’s husband in a previous unrelated case and had also represented several witnesses in other unrelated cases.  An interlocutory appeal of that ruling was granted by the Iowa Supreme Court but it wasn’t until March 31, 2015 that the Supreme Court filed an opinion which essentially determined that McKinley’s attorneys did not have a conflict of interest and that they could continue to represent him. 

On February 15, 2016 pursuant to a plea agreement, McKinley pled guilty to Murder in the Second Degree and Sexual Abuse in the Second Degree with those sentences to be served consecutive to one another.  Murder in the Second Degree is a Class B felony which has a special sentence of fifty years in prison.  Murder in the Second Degree is a forcible felony which requires the defendant to be sentenced to prison and in addition he must serve 70% of this sentence before he would be eligible for parole.  Sexual Abuse in the Second Degree is a Class B felony which has a sentence of twenty-five years in prison.  Sexual Abuse in the Second Degree is a forcible felony which requires the defendant to be sentenced to prison and in addition he must serve 70% of this sentence before he would be eligible for parole. 

On March 9, 2016, Judge Robert Hanson, sentenced McKinley to fifty years in prison on the Murder in the Second Degree charge and to twenty-five years on the Sexual Abuse in the Second Degree charge.  Judge Hanson required that these sentences be served consecutively which means that McKinley will have to serve fifty-two and one half years of mandatory prison time before he will be eligible for any type of parole.  McKinley will essentially spend the remainder of his life in prison for these violent and unprovoked crimes.  Assistant County Attorney Nan Horvat and Polk County Attorney John Sarcone prosecuted this case.

Ngor Makuey Sentencing

Tuesday, January 05, 2016

On January 4, 2016, Ngor Peter Makuey was sentenced to life in prison plus two years.

Makuey’s life sentence was imposed for the July 2, 2014 murder of 97-year-old Rupert Anderson.  The court imposed a consecutive two year sentence for an assault on Rupert’s wife, 94-year-old Harriet Anderson on the same day. 

In addition to counts of murder and assault, Makuey was also found guilty of Robbery in the First Degree and Burglary in the First Degree.  Sentences for those crimes were ordered to run concurrently with the homicide sentence.

Makuey, who lived nearby the Andersons, was convicted of breaking into the Anderson’s home and attacking the couple with a stainless steel grilling spatula.  Both victims suffered injuries inflicted by this weapon.  Despite their ages and the trauma inflicted on both Harriet and Rupert Anderson, both victims managed to get off calls for help.  Rupert Anderson activated a “Life Alert” device and Harriet dialed 911.  Because of the victim’s actions, police responded to the scene quickly.  Makuey was on the scene, but outside the residence when police arrived.  As police tended to the victims, the defendant fled the immediate area.

Despite his successful flight from the scene, quick thinking by Des Moines Police Officer Darin Miller, allowed officers to take Makuey into custody within an hour of the 911 call.  First responders had been accompanied by a COPS television crew.   The COPS crew captured a video image of the defendant when police arrived.  Miller captured a still image from the COPS video on his (Miller’s) cell phone.  With that image, Miller canvassed the area and found the defendant at his (Makuey’s) home shortly after his escape. Clothing with Harriet Anderson’s blood was found in the same room as the defendant.  The spatula was later also recovered from Makuey’s home.

Makuey served notice of Diminished Capacity and Insanity Defenses and waived his right to a jury trial.  The case went to trial before the Honorable Judge Jeffrey Farrell beginning on November 5, 2015.  Judge Farrell returned verdicts on December 11, 2015 finding the defendant guilty of Murder in the First Degree, Assault with Intent to cause Serious Injury, Robbery in the First Degree and Burglary in the First Degree.

The work of the Des Moines Police Department (in particular Officer Darin Miller, Detectives Lorna Garcia and Brad Youngblut and numerous members of the DMPD Identification Unit) was instrumental in the follow-up investigation and successful prosecution of Makuey.   Similarly, the analysis provided by the DNA section of the Iowa Division of Criminal investigation provided information critical to this prosecution. 

KCCI: How the state deals with OWI Offenders

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Petithory Metcalf Sentencing

Monday, September 08, 2014

On July 21, 2014, a Polk County jury found Miranda Rose Petithory Metcalf guilty of the crime of Murder in the Second Degree in the stabbing death of Juan Carlos Chavarria.  Petithory Metcalf had been charged with Murder in the First Degree in Chavarria’s death which occurred in a south side apartment in the early morning hours of November 29, 2013 but the jury found her guilty of Murder in the Second Degree.  On Friday, September 5, 2014, District Court Judge Karen Romano sentenced Petithory Metcalf to a term of fifty years in prison which by statute requires Petithory Metcalf to serve 70% of that sentence before she would be eligible for parole.  Petithory Metcalf was also ordered to pay all court costs, restitution, court appointed attorney fees and to pay the estate of the victim $150, 000.  Polk County Attorney John Sarcone and Assistant County Attorney Nan Horvat prosecuted the case on behalf of the State.

Russell & Shorter Sentencing

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

On July 25, 2014, Yarvon Russell and James Shorter appeared in Polk County District Court in criminal numbers FECR269513 and FECR269510 respectively for sentencing. Russell and Shorter were convicted by a Polk County jury of Murder in the Second Degree for their parts in the August 2013 beating death of Richard Daughenbaugh near Second Ave. and the Des Moines River pedestrian bridge. Russell and Shorter were each sentenced to a term of imprisonment not to exceed 50 years and must serve 70% of the sentence before being eligible for parole. Russell was also sentenced to terms of incarceration not to exceed two years and five years respectively upon the revocation of his probation on a charge of Carrying Weapons and a separate charge of Carrying Weapons on School Grounds.

Those sentences were ordered to be served concurrently with each other but consecutively to the 50 years sentence for Murder in the Second Degree. Russell and Shorter join a third codefendant, Kent Tyler, III, who was convicted and sentenced for Murder in the Second Degree in late 2013. Russell and Shorter were prosecuted by the Polk County Attorney’s Office Drug and Gang Bureau.

Mbonyunkiza Sentencing

Monday, August 18, 2014

After two years on the run, sexual abuser Mbonyunkiza is brought to justice:

In December 2009, Napoleon Mbonyunkiza was working as an aide in a group home for disabled adults.  In his care was D.B., a woman was so disabled that she couldn’t walk nor speak.  D.B. was completely dependent on staff for all of her care and protection.  Horrifically, Mbonyunkiza raped D.B. and impregnated her.  Due to D.B.’s disability, this violation was not discovered and she continued in the care of Mbonyunkiza for months.  When D.B. started showing signs of pain and nausea that were so severe that she required hospitalization, her pregnancy was discovered.  DNA testing confirmed Mbonyunkiza was the culprit.  Mbonyunkiza was arrested in May 2010 and charged with Sexual Abuse in the Third Degree, Dependent Adult Abuse and Neglect of a Dependent Person in Polk County Case FECR237656.  On June 4, 2010, Mbonyunkiza, an immigrant from Uganda, failed to appear for his preliminary hearing and it was learned that he fled the country to escape justice. 

After an exhaustive joint effort by the Polk County Attorney’s Office, United States Marshals, Des Moines Police Department, United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and the U.S. State Department, Mbonyunkiza was finally arrested and brought back to the United States in August 2013.  In addition to his original charges, Mbonyunkiza faced an additional charge in Polk County criminal case FECR238083 of Failing to Appear. 

On June 6, 2014, Mbonyunkiza pled guilty to all charges, admitting that he had sexually assaulted and impregnated a completely defenseless person.  On August 1, 2014, the Honorable Judge Scott D. Rosenberg sentenced Mbonyunkiza to an indeterminate term of incarceration not to exceed thirty years, the maximum sentence.  Once he completes his sentence, he will be immediately deported to his home country.

D.B.’s guardian expressed gratitude for the successful prosecution of such a heinous crime.  It was only due to the joint cooperation of local and federal agencies that Mbonyunkiza received justice.

Contact Us

Polk County Attorney's Office
Polk County Justice Center
222 Fifth Avenue
Des Moines, IA 50309

Phone: (515) 286-3737
Fax: (515) 286-3428
Email: ctyatty@polkcountyiowa.gov