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 (February 2020)

Monday, March 2, 2020

On February 6, 2020 Charles ByBee appeared in FECR33279 and entered a plea of guilty to the charge of Forgery.  He admitted he presented a forged check, knowing it was fraudulent, with the intent to obtain goods in exchange therefor.  He will be sentenced March 23, 2020. He was also taken into custody on an outstanding warrant from Warren Co. for a drug paraphernalia charge.

On February 6, 2020, Michael Hager appeared in FECR316400 and entered a plea of guilty admitting he violated the sex offender registry for the 2nd time.  He also stipulated he violated the terms and conditions of his probation in AGCR313506.  He will be sentenced on March 26, 2020.

On February 7, 2020, Bradley Graham appeared for sentencing in FECR329102 and AGCR329117.  The Defendant previously pled guilty to Failure to Comply with Sex Offender Registry 1st offender and was convicted by a jury of 2 counts of Forgery and Theft 3rd Degree.  The Defendant requested the Court grant him probation with placement at the Fort Des Moines Facility after residential substance abuse treatment. The State asked for imprisonment.  The Court cited the defendant’s prior criminal history and his exhaustion of community based corrections opportunities and sentenced the defendant to a total period of incarceration not to exceed five (5) years.

On February 7, 2020, Travis Gonzales appeared in FECR324029 and entered pleas of guilty to two counts of Vehicular Homicide by Operating while Intoxicated before his family and the victims families.  The defendant admitted that he was intoxicated with a blood alcohol level of .219 when he operated his motor vehicle.  He rear ended a vehicle on the interstate and caused it to careen off the road into a tree.  That vehicle was occupied by two people, Austin Gainuss and Joshua Cox.  Both of the occupants were pronounced dead at the hospital as a result of the injuries sustained in the crash.  The Defendant specifically admitted his operating under the influence caused the crash which caused their deaths.   The Defendant had been out of custody on bond.  Upon the Court accepting the defendant’s plea of guilty, he was remanded to the custody of the sheriff where he will be held without bond pending his sentence.  The Defendant will be sentenced on March 25, 2020.

On February 6, 2020 Joshua Lamon Leonard appeared for sentencing in Case No. FECR331231 for the crime of Felon in Possession of a Firearm, a Class D Felony.  The Polk County District Court sentenced this defendant to prison for a term not to exceed five years.  This defendant was prosecuted by the Polk County Attorney’s Office Drug and Gang Bureau.

On February 13, 2020, Amina Garcia appeared in FECR299223 for a probation violation hearing . She stipulated she violated the terms and conditions of her probation by committing a new offense of Malicious Prosecution and failing to comply with the terms of her probation.  She pled guilty to Malicious Prosecution in SRCR334769 and was sentenced to 40 days in jail. She was given credit for time served on that offense and stipulated her probation should be revoked  on the charge of Theft 2nd Degree. She was sentenced to prison for a period not to exceed five (5) years.  

On February 13, 2020 Rickie Kenoyer appeared for sentencing.  He previously admitted he attempted to break into a residence when someone was home and he injured someone. The Court considered the recommendation of the Department of Corrections, the statements of counsel and the allocution of the defendant, who expressed remorse for his actions.  The Court granted the defendant’s request for a deferred judgment. He will be on probation for two years and will be required to continue with substance abuse treatment aftercare, pay restitution to the victim and pay a civil penalty of $1000.  He will be required to abide by a No Contact Order with the victim of this offense.  In addition, the defendant previously stipulated he violated the no contact order and was sentenced to 30 days in jail and given credit for 30 days he already served in jail.

On February 13, 2020 Shane Byers appeared in FECR328162 and entered a plea of guilty to two counts of Theft in the 1st Degree.  The Defendant admitted he stole a vehicle valued at over $10,000 from Telecom and property valued over $10,000 from Innovative Communication Technologies with the intent to deprive the owners thereof.  He will be sentenced in March.

On February 13, 2020 Allen McGinness IV appeared in FECR333536 and entered a plea of guilty to Burglary in the 3rd Degree.  He admitted he broke into a friends home with the intent to commit a theft and stole property therefrom.  He will be sentenced April 1, 2020.  Pending sentence, he may be released to reside at the Fort Des Moines Facility as a condition of probation in another case.

On February 13, 2020 Stephen Vanderluis appeared for a plea in FECR333263.  He admitted he presented forged check and received over $1500 in cash therefore.  He also stipulated he violated the terms and conditions of his probation in four other case numbers.  He will be sentenced on March 31, 2020.

On February 18, 2020 Auston Dillon Sangxayarath appeared for a probation revocation hearing in Case No. FECR321986 for the crime of Possession of a Controlled Substance with Intent to Deliver, a Class D felony.  The Polk County District Court revoked the defendant’s probation and sentenced the defendant to prison for a term not to exceed five years.  This defendant was prosecuted by the Polk County Attorney’s Office Drug and Gang Bureau.

On February 18, 2020 Cody Allen Curtis appeared for sentencing in Case No. FECR331427 for the crime of Possession of a Controlled Substance with Intent to Deliver, a Class B Felony.  The Polk County District Court sentenced the defendant to prison for a term not to exceed 25 years.  The defendant must serve at least one-third of his prison sentence prior to becoming eligible for parole.  Additionally, the 25 year prison term was ordered to be served consecutive to the defendant’s parole matters.  This defendant was prosecuted by the Polk County Attorney’s Office Drug and Gang Bureau. 

On February 19, 2020 Gretchen Maifeld appeared and entered a plea of guilty to the offense of Theft in the 2nd Degree in FECR323009.  She admitted she misappropriated money she was entrusted with in her employment at McDonald’s.  She also admitted she has twice before been convicted of felonies.  The Court agreed to go forward with sentencing.  The Defendant is on parole for several felonies.  The parole officer wrote a letter to the Court explaining why he would not be seeking to revoke her parole.  For this reason the parties and the Court agreed to grant the defendant probation in this matter.  She will be required to pay restitution and comply with the programming required but the department of corrections.

On February 19, 2020 Coleton Lewis entered a plea of guilty to the offense of Burglary in the 3rd Degree in FECR333166. He admitted he broke into a residence with the intent to commit an assault.  He will be sentencing in April. Pending the sentencing date, he will be required to stay in jail until a bed is available for him to participate in residential treatment at CFR in Ft Dodge.  When a bed becomes available, he will be required to reside at the facility and be returned to the jail upon completion.

On February 20, 2020, Jennifer Dunlap entered a plea of guilty in FECR332816 pursuant to North Carolina v. Alford, to the charge of Dependent Adult Abuse.  While she did not admit the conduct, she did agree that if the case were to proceed to trial the testimony of the State’s witnesses would be sufficient to convince a jury beyond a reasonable doubt of her guilt. She will be sentenced April 8, 2020.

 

On February 20, 2020 Shawn Melvin entered pleas of guilty in several cases.  In FECR324494 he pled guilty to Burglary in the 3rd Degree and Theft in the 2nd Degree, admitted he broke into a residence and stole over $1500 worth of property.  In FECR327663 he pled guilty to Possession of a Controlled Substance, methamphetamine 2nd offense.  In AGCR331196 the defendant pled guilty to Burglary of a Motor Vehicle and Assault on a Peace officer and in AGCR330196 the defendant pled guilty to Theft in the 4th Degree.  He asked the Court to waive time and sentence him immediately.  The parties agreed and the Court did enter an order sentencing the defendant to a period of incarceration not to exceed ten (10) years, with some of the offenses running consecutive to each other and others concurrent. The Defendant will be required to make restitution to all victims involved in these cases.

On February 20, 2020, Brock Wing pled guilty in FECR332337 to Interference with Official Acts with a Dangerous Weapon, a knife and three counts of Assault with a Dangerous Weapon, a hatchet.  The Defendant will be supervised by the department of corrections on an underlying probation pending sentence.  He also stipulated he violated the terms and conditions of his probation in AGCR312844 and SRCR319973 by committing the aforementioned offenses.  He will be sentenced April 8.

On February 21, 2020 Noah Wasserman appeared in FECR 326834 for sentencing.  When the Defendant entered his pleas of guilty to six counts of Tampering with Records, the parties agreed the Defendant would not ask for nor accept a Deferred Judgment.  At the sentencing hearing, the defendant, through counsel, asked for a Deferred Judgment on each of the five other counts.  He argued he had admitted his actions, took corrective steps, completed therapy and apologized to anyone who would listen. The Defendant also asked the Court to sentence him to pay a fine only and not enter a prison sentence (even if suspended) as to the one Count.  He agreed a two year probation term on the deferred judgements was acceptable.  The State argued that although the defendant had admitted his actions, he had done so after the devastation to the campaign of Teresa Greenfield had already occurred. The State argued the defendant should not get to wipe this from his record when Ms. Greenfield will never be able to do that. The State asked for a suspended sentence, sentencing the defendant to two (2) years in prison, but suspending that sentence and placing him on probation in addition to the statutorily mandated fine. The Defendant himself made a statement to the Court, again apologizing for his actions.  The Court entered judgement against the Defendant as to one count of Tampering with Records, as was the agreement. He sentenced the defendant to two (2) years in prison and suspended the sentence.  He ordered the defendant to pay a fine of $650 plus 35% surcharge.  He accepted the defendant’s request for a Deferred Judgment as to each of the other five counts, citing the positive steps he has taken since committing the offense.  The defendant is required to pay a civil penalty of $650 on each of the other five counts.  In addition, the defendant is required to make any restitution to Ms. Greenfield, complete 40 hours of community service and report to his probation officer as frequently as the department of corrections deems appropriate.

On February 21, 2020 Christian Slaughter appeared in FECR327743 and entered a plea of guilty to 3 counts of Serious Injury by Vehicle by Reckless Driving.  He admitted he was speeding and traveling the wrong direction into oncoming traffic.  He struck two vehicles which were occupied by three people and a dog.  The collision caused each occupant of the vehicles to sustain serious injury and resulted in the death of the dog.  Pursuant to the plea agreement, the defendant agreed to have his bond forfeited and to be taken into custody.  He will remain in custody until his sentencing date on April 2. 

On February 25, 2020, Christopher Reise appeared in FECR328565 and OWOM087940 for sentencing.  The Defendant previously pled guilty to four counts of Operating a Motor Vehicle While under the Influence of a Controlled Substance causing Serious Injury, OWI 2nd offense and Possession of Heroin.  The Defendant admitted he used heroin in March, 2018 and drove, striking the vehicle occupied by five teens, four of whom were seriously injured.  Between the time of that offense and another offense in November, 2018, the defendant had been released on bond.  He returned to the use of illegal substances and was again stopped for driving on the highway under the influence of a controlled substance and was in possession of heroin at the time. The Court revoked his bond at that time and he has remained in jail since then.  At sentencing, one of the victims and the family members of the victims made victim impact statements.  The Defendant apologized and accepted responsibility for his actions in his sentence him to the maximum, running each offense consecutive to each other.  The Court considered the defendant’s history, substance abuse and mental health issues.  The Court citing the separate offenses and the separate victims and ran the four serious injury counts consecutive to each other, the OWI and possession concurrent to each other but consecutive to the other four. The defendant was sentenced to a total period of incarceration not to exceed 22 years.

On February 25, 2020 Christopher Ray Midthun appeared for sentencing for the crimes of Possession of a Controlled Substance with Intent to Deliver, a Class B Felony; and Possession of a Controlled Substance, Third Offense, a Class D Felony in Case Nos. FECR330983 and FECR333569.  The Polk County District Court sentenced the defendant to prison for a term not to exceed 30 years.  The defendant must serve one-third of the first twenty-five years of his sentence prior to becoming eligible for parole.  Additionally, this 30 year sentence was ordered to be served consecutive to the defendant’s preexisting parole matters.  This defendant was prosecuted by the Polk County Attorney’s Office Drug and Gang Bureau. 

On February 26, 2020, Raife Kubal appeared in FECR326792 and entered a plea of guilty to several offenses. He pled guilty to Theft in the 2nd Degree, admitting he possessed property he knew was stolen and the property had a value in excess of $1500.  He also admitted he committed the offenses of Attempted Burglary 3rd Degree, Operating a Motor Vehicle Without Owners Consent, three offenses of Eluding and Criminal Mischief in the 4th Degree.  The Defendant will remain in custody pending sentencing in this case which is scheduled for April 8, 2020.

On February 26, 2020, John Vaughn appeared in FECR331391 and SRCR331472 for sentencing.  He previously pled guilty to the offenses of Burglary in the 3rd Degree, two counts, Possession of Burglars tools, criminal mischief in the 4th degree and possession of methamphetamine, 2nd offense.  The Defendant, contrary to the plea agreement and through his attorney, requested a Deferred Judgment on one of the felonies.  The State pointed out the agreement of the parties as entered into at the time of the plea. The Court adopted the plea agreement and adjudged the defendant guilty of all offenses, sentenced the defendant to a period of incarceration not to exceed ten (10) years (running the two burglaries consecutive to each other but the remaining offenses concurrent), suspended the sentenced and placed him on probation for two (2) years with certain conditions, including that he reside at the Fort Des Moines facility. 

On February 26, 2020 Neal Rodenkirk appeared and entered a plea of guilty to Criminal Mischief in the 3rd Degree. He was granted a deferred judgment and placed on probation for two (2) years.  He is required to participate in substance abuse treatment, complete anger management programming, pay fines and costs and abide by a No Contact Order.

On February 26, 2020 Melonie Mahfouz was granted  a suspended five (5) year sentence in FECR309541 on the charge of Forgery. She will be on probation for three (3) years and will be required to make restitution as well as comply with mental health and substance abuse treatment recommendations.

OWI Report (December 2019)

Monday, February 10, 2020

ONE HUNDRED THIRTY DEFENDANTS SENTENCED FOR OWI THE MONTH OF DECEMBER 2019

One hundred thirty defendants were prosecuted for Operating While under the Influence (OWI) in Polk County Associate District Courts in the month of December 2019.

One hundred five 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: 

Taylor Abbott, (REF); Marisa Adamson, (0.261); Bita Amisi, (0.138); Bita Amisi, (0.282); Erik Andrade-yepez, (0.149); Jose Arias, (0.150

); William Aspengren, (0.188); Kelly Bailey, (0.145); John Bailey, (0.252); Jose Banegas Paz, (0.179); Daniel Banuelos, (0.131); Honorio Barragan, (0.218); Ronald Boles, (0.189); Rock Browning, (0.163); Tulla Bussu, (0.215); Trina Byles, (REF); Marcos Camargo, (REF); Ryan Campbell, (0.093); Roberto Castaneda-rubio, (0.168); Chris Cavan, (0.172); Caleb Ceretti, (0.168); Lucas Constantin, (REF); Kristina Cox, (0.187); Madison Crank, (0.085); James Cronin, (REF); Carl Cunningham, (REF); Michael Dippold, (0.225); Finan Dougherty, (0.176); Melody Dukes, (0.17); Michael Dunnick, (0.135); Antonio Esposito, (0.099); Cory Farnum, (REF); Camila Feliciano De Lima, (0.256); Katrena Fellner, (0.125); James Fischer, (0.147); Kevin Flatt, (0.231); Lei Freed, (REF); Alfredo Garcia, (0.115); Alfredo Garcia, (0.121); Amanda Gibbons, (0.169); Michael Greif, (REF); Mustafa Hadzic, (0.185); Brendalen Haley, (0.141); Tyler Hall, (0.152); Troy Harding, (REF); Anna Hardt, (0.321); Dustin Hart, (0.118); La Hathi Thompson, (0.101); Darren Helm, (0.198); Manuel Hernandez-santillan, (REF); Victoria Hesser, (DRE); Brian Hoff, (0.108); Dina Hollister, (0.15); Henry Jimenez, (0.174); Jordan Johnson, (0.305); Adam Kehrwald, (REF); Elizabeth Kiley, (0.205); Cassidy Lee, (0.185); Heather Lenhart, (DRE); Gary Maier, (0.204); Moises Mayoral Azuara, (0.148); Jacob McDermott, (DRE); Travis Mcelvain, (0.159); Nolongsuck Mekdala, (0.13); Charles Miller, (0.093); Douglas Miller, (0.2); Demarko Moore, (0.204); Jonathan Munezero, (0.166); Marco Naranjo Tello, (0.133); Bradley Obermeier, (0.23); Monica Ortega, (0.132); Carly Pastwa, (0.223); Gregory Pender, (0.124); Anthony Perez, (0.202); Carlos Perez Lastra, (0.167); Dylan Petersen, (0.134); Cynthia Peterson, (REF); Kara Pick, (0.161); Angela Potter Davis, (REF); Daniel Prokop, (0.118); Deisy Raygoza Hernandez, (0.165); Charles Reiser, (REF); Alexander Ricard, (0.181); Michael Richardson, (0.27); Kevin Rivera, (0.164); Benjamin Rogers, (0.177); Morgan Samuelson, (0.102); Tyler Sanders, (DRE); Blake Schmitt, (0.144); Marla Schoen, (0.167); Kaleigh Sieck, (0.213); Steve Sinclair, (0.154); Jennifer Spafford, (0.151); Jeffery Strain, (0.12); Christopher Sugden, (0.239); Trey Thayer, (0.189); Diego Torres, (REF); Juan Torres Camacho, (REF); Jermall Whitmore, (DRE); Arron Whittmuss, (0.216); Stephanie Wichmann, (0.126); Mary Wilkins, (0.214); Logan Wilsey, (0.127); Arron Wittmuss, (0.251); Melissa Zeimet, (0.193).

Of those defendants sentenced for OWI First Offense this report, fifty-one had a test of .160 (twice the legal limit) or greater. The low chemical test among the group was .085 and the high test was .321 (more than FOUR times the legal limit). Five defendants were prosecuted based upon their use of drugs other than just alcohol (denoted by “DRE”) and seventeen refused chemical testing (denoted by “REF”).

Twenty three 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:

Carlos Alcantar Garcia, (0.17); Desmond Armentrout, (0.266); Lynn Bohn, (REF); Jose Cardenas Flores, (REF); Oscar Castro Juarez, (REF); Scott Clark, (0.203); Jerald Dilworth, (0.252); Karen Hight, (0.3); Kristen Humbach, (REF); Douglas Hunt, (0.179); Tyler Kern, (0.186); Maddison Mason, (0.271); Eric Nedved, (0.269); Amanda Pjanic, (0.122); Zachary Purdy, (0.248); Alonso Roan Villa, (0.138); Chanel Scott, (0.201); Quantrell Taylor, (REF); Henry Torres, (REF); Joel Villa Villa, (0.187); John Warner, (0.237); Lucas Weir, (0.158); Craig Zhorne, (0.243).

Of those defendants sentenced for OWI Second Offense who took a chemical test, those tests ranged from a low of 0.122 to a high of 0.300 (more than THREE times the legal limit). Six of these defendants refused the chemical test.

There were two 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: 

Chari Edwards, (0.234); Robert Mason, (REF).

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 December 2019, the attorneys directly responsible for handling this challenging, fast-paced and high volume docket were: Kate Clark, Kailyn Heston, and Jordan Roling, and the support staff responsible for assisting were: Josh Schuhardt, Cheyanne Wallace, and Chelsey Wilson.

Felony Case Summary (January 2020)

Monday, February 10, 2020

On January 2, 2020 Taylor Rector appeared for sentencing in FECR331671 and FECR329759.  He previously pled guilty to two counts of Theft in the 1st Degree.  Although he has limited employment history, he also has limited criminal history and the State did not object to his request for a Deferred Judgment on both matters.  He will be on probation for five (5) years and will be required to pay victim restitution as well as comply with other conditions of probation.

On January 2, 2020 Rickie Kenoyer appeared in FECR331821 and entered a plea of guilty to the charge of Attempted Burglary in the 1st Degree. He admitted he tried to break into a residence which was occupied by at least one person and was in possession of a dangerous weapon. He will be sentenced in February.  While he was out on bond after being charged with this offense, the defendant violated the No Contact Order which was entered in this case.  He previously stipulated to that violation.  The sentence for the violation will be determined at the same time as the sentence in this case.

On January 2, 2020, Shannon Brown appeared in FECR325275 and FECR327731 for sentencing.  He previously admitted he was in possession of a firearm when he was not allowed to be due to prior domestic abuse assault conviction.  He was granted a 5 year suspended sentence and will be supervised for 2 years.

On January 9, 2020 Michael Young appeared in FECR331543 and entered a plea of guilty to the charge of Theft in the 2nd Degree. He admitted he deposited a check he knew was fraudulent and made several withdrawals from the account in excess of $7000 before the check was rejected.  He also appeared in AGCR326032 and stipulated he was in violation of his probation by committing the new offense. He will be sentenced March 2.

On January 9, 2020 Daisha McAvaddy appeared in FECR327556 and entered a plea of guilty to Theft in the 2nd Degree.  She admitted she filled her cart at Hy-Vee with items with a value in excess of $1500 and left the store without paying for them. She will be sentenced March 2. 

On January 9, 2020 Blair Burrows appeared in FECR331616 and FECR329203 and entered pleas of guilty to the charges of Credit Card Fraud, Forgery and Ongoing Criminal Conduct.  The defendant admitted he used fraudulent credit cards (numbers) to purchase or attempt to purchase over $17,000 in fireworks.  He also admitted he himself, and through others, deposited several forged checks at ATMs and banks around the metro Des Moines area over a period of about 2 months.  He and others he employed in the scheme, would deposit checks and then withdraw cash from the banks, defrauding the banks of tens of thousands of dollars. The others involved, thought charged in the same Trial Information, will be resolved separately.  All defendants involved have scheduled plea dates.  Burrows will be sentenced March 3.

On January 14, 2020, Dennis Raymond Durham appeared for sentencing for the crime of Failure to Affix a Tax Stamp, a Class D Felony, in Case No. FECR331910.  The Polk County District Court sentenced the defendant to prison for a term not to exceed five years.  This five year term was ordered to be served consecutive to the defendant's parole matters.  This defendant was prosecuted by the Polk County Attorney's Office Drug and Gang Bureau.

On January 14, 2020, James Robert Ferguson appeared for sentencing for the crimes of Possession of a Controlled Substance with Intent to Deliver, a Class C Felony, and Failure to Affix a tax Stamp, a Class D Felony, in Case No. FECR331987.  The Polk County District Court ordered that the sentences in each offense be served consecutive to one another, and the Court sentenced the defendant to prison for a total term not to exceed 15 years.  This defendant was prosecuted by the Polk County Attorney's Office Drug and Gang Bureau. 

On January 16, 2020, Victoria Borha appeared for sentencing. She previously pled guilty to Theft 2nd Degree.  The parties agreed the defendant should be given an opportunity for a deferred judgment. The Court granted her request and placed her on probation for 2 years.  She will be required to make restitution to the victim of the offense, her prior employer, pay certain fees and costs. 

On January 16, 2020, Robert Gatlin appeared for sentencing in FCR329720. He previously pled guilty to Failure to Comply with the Sex Offender Registry, 2nd or Subsequent Offense.  The Court sentenced him to prison for a period of years not to exceed five (5) years.

On January 16, 2020, James Bush Jr. appeared in FECR328503 for sentencing on the charge of Theft in the 2nd Degree as an habitual offender. He had previously pled guilty to the charge of Theft but the habitual offender enhancement was added pursuant to plea agreement.  He admitted he has previously been convicted of felonies on at least 2 prior occasions.  He also previously admitted he violated the terms of his previous probation by committing the new offense.  The probation officer agreed to continue working with the defendant.  The Court sentenced him to a period of incarceration not to exceed fifteen years on the new offense and twenty years on the prior offenses, which the parties agreed would run consecutive to each other.  The Court suspended his 35 year sentence and placed him on probation to two years.

On January 24, 2020 Cody Paul Wisinski appeared for a probation violation in Case Nos. AGCR319053 and FECR312585 for the crimes of Assault with Intent to Inflict Serious Injury, an Aggravated Misdemeanor and Possession of a Controlled Substance with Intent to Deliver, a Class C Felony, respectively.  Additionally, this defendant appeared for sentencing for the crime of Domestic Abuse Assault Causing Bodily Injury, a Serious Misdemeanor.  The Polk County District Court sentenced this defendant to prison for a term not to exceed 12 years for all three cases.  This defendant was prosecuted by the Polk County Attorney’s Office’s Drug and Gang Bureau and Indictable Bureau. 

On January 31, 2020 Cody Richard Kuehl appeared for a probation violation in Case No. FECR320987. The defendant was on probation for the crime of Failure to Affix a Tax Stamp, a Class D Felony.  The Polk County District Court revoked the defendant’s probation and sentenced him to prison for a term not to exceed five years.  This defendant was prosecuted by the Polk County Attorney’s Office Drug and Gang Bureau.

On January 31, 2020 Malik Alijawon Harris appeared for a probation violation in Case No. FECR321185.  The defendant was on probation for the crime of Possession of a Controlled Substance with Intent to Deliver, a Class C Felony.  The Polk County District Court revoked the defendant’s probation and sentenced him to prison for a term not to exceed ten years.  This defendant was prosecuted by the Polk County Attorney’s Office Drug and Gang Bureau.

Scam Alert

Monday, November 25, 2019

The Polk County Attorney's Office has been advised of the re-surfacing of a phone scam, wherein the caller claims to be a member of law enforcement calling about an active arrest warrant. Law Enforcement does not make such calls. Please be vigilant and do not provide such callers any personal information such as your social security number, date of birth, or address. Likewise, do not provide any bank account numbers or credit card numbers to such callers. Even when these callers claims to be from a local police agency, they are often operating in another state or country, so if you wish to report such a call, the Federal Trade Commission takes reports on this issue and when possible may follow-up with appropriate action against the entity that is calling. FTC complaints can be made at this website:

https://www.ftccomplaintassistant.gov/

Sera Alexander Sentencing

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

On April 27, 2018, Sera Alexander was sentenced to a ten-year prison term for the shooting death of her stepfather, Anthony Hartmann. She had entered a guilty plea on March 7, 2018 during the third day of a bench trial on the matter. Ms. Alexander was convicted of Involuntary Manslaughter and Reckless Use of a Firearm Causing Serious Injury.

The evidence at trial showed that on May 8, 2017, the defendant came home after a weekend away and went to her upstairs bedroom to begin unpacking. She then heard Anthony Hartmann's voice downstairs. Months earlier, Mr. Hartmann had been arrested for assaulting the defendant's mother, and a no-contact order had been put in place, prohibiting his entry into the home. That no-contact order had since been lifted at the request of the defendant's mother, but the defendant was not aware of this on May 8, 2017. Once the defendant heard Mr. Hartmann's voice, she grabbed her gun from her dresser and went downstairs to confront him.

The defendant located Mr. Hartmann in the basement, where he was gathering tools to fix the defendant's mother's car. She pointed the gun at him and told him to leave. He responded that he was allowed to be there. She told him that if he didn't leave, she would call the police. He responded, "ok, call the police." She then told him that if he didn't leave, she would shoot him. To that he responded, "fine, shoot me." The defendant then shot three times, hitting him twice, causing his death. The defendant claims that Mr. Hartmann had turned toward her threateningly, but the autopsy showed that both bullets went into his back.

The defendant presented evidence at trial of a significant history of domestic violence in the household for several years. The defendant claimed to be the witness, and occasionally the victim, of such violence. Her attorney argued that this experience colored the defendant's reaction to the encounter in the basement on May 8, 2017. However, the defendant admitted that she acted too quickly, and that her actions were not legally justified.

The defendant was sentenced by the Honorable Scott Rosenberg. She was ordered into the custody of the Iowa Department of Corrections for a period not to exceed ten years. As a convicted felon, she will not be permitted to possess a firearm in the future.

This investigation was led by Des Moines Police Department detectives Aaron Entrekin and Lorna Garcia. The case was prosecuted by Assistant Polk County Attorneys Shannon Archer and Kevin Hathaway with assistance from Diane Aldrich and intern Katherine Dick.

The trial and sentencing was held at the Drake Legal Clinic as part of the First Year Trial Practicum, a program that allows students at Drake Law School to observe a trial from beginning to end.

Miguel Lorenzo-Baltazar Verdict

Monday, April 9, 2018

On April 2, 2018, Miguel Lorenzo-Baltazar was convicted by a jury of Murder in the First Degree, a class A felony.  Lorenzo-Baltazar was convicted of shooting and killing Jeffrey Mercado in the 1800 block of Oakland Avenue in Des Moines on July 28, 2017.  Lorenzo-Baltazar will be sentenced on April 17, 2018 and faces a term of life in prison without the possibility of parole.  The defendant was prosecuted by attorneys of the Polk County Attorney's Office Drug and Gang Bureau with the assistance of legal assistants Lindsay Morris and Laurie Bence.

Warning: Common Scams

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

The Polk County Attorney's Office is warning you to be on the lookout for scammers.  If you or someone you know has fallen victim to a scammer, contact your local police department to report the crime.

Here are some of the more common scams:

IRS and Tax scams - Scammers will call you, send you emails or messages trying to trick you into thinking you are receiving legitimate communication from the IRS or others in the tax industry.  You need to know the IRS does not initiate contact with taxpayers by email, text messages or social media to request your personal or financial information.  If you get a message asking for PIN numbers, passwords, access information for credit cards, banks or other financial accounts, DO NOT respond, DO NOT open any attachments, and DO NOT click on any links.  Instead forward the message to phishing@irs.gov and then delete the original email.

Sweepstakes and lottery scams - Fraudulent telemarketers will call, claiming you won a sweepstakes, lottery or a vacation.  If they ask you to pay any fees at all to claim your prize, this is a scam.  Hang up and DO NOT PROVIDE ANY PERSONAL OR FINANCIAL INFORMATION TO THE CALLER.

Sweetheart scams - Scammers will create fake profiles on dating websites, "woo" you and then try to convince you to send them money in the name of love.  Any online love interest who asks for money is probably a scam artist.  DO NOT GIVE THEM ANY FINANCIAL INFORMATION.

Tech support scams - If you get a call from a well-known tech company, such as Microsoft, claiming there is a problem with your computer, hang up.  DO NOT GIVEN THEM ACCESS TO YOUR COMPUTER OR PASSWORDS.  If you give them access to your computer, they can install malicious software (malware) that can steal your financial information.

Grandparent scams - Scammers will call you, pretend they are your grandchild and tell you they are stranded or in jail somewhere and need money wired to them.  If they try to claim they are your grandchild, MAKE SURE THEY IDENTIFY THEMSELVES BY NAME AND THEN VERIFY WITH OTHER FAMILY MEMBERS WHERE YOUR GRANDCHILD IS LOCATED BEFORE SENDING MONEY BASED ON A PHONE CALL.

Jury Duty / Arrest Warrant scams - Callers will tell you that you failed to appear for jury duty and there has been a warrant issued for your arrest.  They will go on to say the warrant will be recalled if you just pay a fine.  Neither the courts nor law enforcement will call you demanding money to take care of a warrant.  This is a scam.  DO NOT GIVE THEM ANY FINANCIAL INFORMATION.  If you have any question whether the caller is legitimate, hang up, look up the number for the Clerk of Court or the law enforcement agency who supposedly issued the warrant and call them.

James Walden Sentencing

Monday, March 12, 2018

On Tuesday, January 30, 2018, District Court Judge Scott Rosenberg sentenced James Russell Walden Jr. to life without the possibility of parole in the brutal beating death of Sheila Keenan which happened on March 6, 2017 in Des Moines.  Walden, age sixty, was convicted by a jury on December 11, 2017 of Murder in the First Degree.  County Attorney John Sarcone and Assistant County Attorney James Hathaway prosecuted this case on behalf of the State.

Sera Alexander Plea

Thursday, March 8, 2018

Alexander.PNGOn March 7, 2018, Sera Alexander pled guilty to Involuntary Manslaughter and Reckless Use of a Firearm Causing Serious Injury for the May 8, 2017 shooting death of Anthony Hartmann. The defendant had previously claimed self-defense, but acknowledged during the plea proceeding that her actions were not legally justified.

The manslaughter charge is a Class D Felony, punishable by up to five years in prison. The firearm charge is a Class C Felony, punishable by up to ten years in prison. Sentencing has been scheduled for April 27, 2018.

The investigation was led by Des Moines Police Department detectives Aaron Entrekin and Lorna Garcia.

This case was prosecuted by Assistant Polk County Attorneys Shannon Archer and Kevin Hathaway with the assistance of Diane Aldrich and prosecuting intern Catherine Dick.

Abraham Roberts Verdict

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

RobertsOn January 16, 2018, a Polk County jury found Abraham Roberts guilty of Murder in the First Degree in the shooting death of Agnes Yarlee  which occurred on April 15, 2017 in their apartment in Johnston, Iowa.  Roberts, age 39, fired five shots into Ms. Yarlee, including the fatal shot to her head, as she was sitting on a couch in the apartment living room with the couple’s four month old baby positioned at her feet.  After shooting Ms. Yarlee, Roberts fled the state and was captured the following day when he tried to cross over into Canada from International Falls, Minnesota.  Polk County Attorney John Sarcone and Assistant Polk County Attorney Mike Salvner prosecuted the case on behalf of the State.  The defendant will be sentenced on March 5, 2018.  The penalty for Murder in the First Degree is Life Without the Possibility of Parole.

Devin Carter Sentencing

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Carter.PNGOn October 30, 2017 Devin Marques Carter was sentenced to prison for life without any possibility of parole. He was convicted by jury on September 19, 2017 of Murder in the First Degree of William Dawson, Sr., two counts of Attempt to Commit Murder and Intimidation with a Dangerous Weapon.

In the early morning hours of August 6, 2016, Dylan Freeman got into an argument with William “Bill” Dawson Sr. at Johnny Mac’s Bar and Grill on the east side of Des Moines.  The argument was in regards to $7 and a pitcher of beer.  Dylan confronted Bill about it; the two argued and then went outside. They argued across the street and through the parking lot. Realizing a fight was imminent, William “Bub” Dawson, Jr., Carley and two others walked across the street.  Dylan recognized he was outnumbered.  He returned to the bar and sought out his cousin, Steven Freeman.  Steven had been talking to a friend, Devin Carter.  Dylan told Steven he was about to get jumped by some people. Steven went to make the fight even.  Carter followed.  The Dawson group was standing behind a row of parked cars, discussing leaving when Dylan and Steven came around the cars, ready to fight; Carter went around the back of the group.  Dylan and Steven squared off with Bill and Bub.  From behind, shots were fired.  Bill was shot in the back of the head and the back of the leg twice.  He died as a result of the shot to his head. Bub was shot in the back twice and foot twice.  Carley was shot 5 times in the thigh. 

Johnny Mac’s had a surveillance camera positioned on the outside of the bar to survey the parking lot area.  The shooting took place behind the row of parked cars.  Although the surveillance did not capture the actual shooting, it captured the movements of people coming and going before, during and after the shooting. Witnesses had come outside to see the fight and one of them captured Carter on his cell phone camera. The witness can be heard on the video proclaiming that Carter was the shooter.  Steven Freeman positively identified Carter.

Carter gave statements to the police, adamantly denying his involvement.  He repeatedly claimed he was on the smoke deck at the bar when the shooting occurred. The video showed him in the parking lot. Carter communicated with his mom via text which contradicted his statement to the police as well as the video.  

The trial lasted three weeks with nearly 60 witnesses called to testify.  The video surveillance was strong evidence as well as Carter’s interview with the police.  Carter testified on his own behalf and denied involvement. The jury deliberated 4 hours before returning a verdict of guilty as to each of the four charged counts. The jury found Carter acted willfully, with malice aforethought, premeditation and deliberation in shooting to kill Bill Dawson.  The jury found he intended to cause the death of Bub and Carley and in so doing he set in motion a force or chain of events would cause or result in the death of both Bub and Carley.  The jury also found he had discharged a firearm at, into or within an assembly of people with the intent to provoke fear. 

As the Court pronounced sentence, the courtroom was full of family and friends of the Defendant and victims.   A family member read a victim impact statement on behalf of Linda Dawson, Bill’s mother.  She expressed sadness for Devin Carter’s family, who lost their son.  She voiced no regret for her feelings of satisfaction that the Defendant would lose his freedom for the rest of his life.  She pointed out he would still wake up everyday, talk to his family, experience life.  Her son had lost all of those things at the Defendant’s hands.  Although the State requested consecutive sentences to represent the lives of each of the three victims, the court ran the sentences concurrent to each other noting consecutive sentences would not extend the life sentence imposed for murder.

Dre'Sean Barber Verdict

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Barber.PNGOn Monday, October 1, 2017, Polk County Jurors found defendant Dre'Sean Barber guilty of Murder in the Second Degree for the shooting death of Edmanuel Perez  on November 29,2015.  Barber was also found guilty of Assault with Intent to Inflict a Serious Injury on Andrew Hurley-Boyd, who was also shot on the same date. Barber, age 26, will be sentenced by Judge Karen Romano on November 17, 2017 and faces up to 52 years in prison.  Under Iowa's mandatory minimum laws, Barber will have to serve at least 70% of his sentence before he is eligible for parole.

The bar where the incident took place, Carbon, at 216 Court Avenue, nearly lost its license after this 2015  shooting. In 2016, the bar's owner signed a "good neighbor" agreement that required the bar to install 24-hour security cameras and hire security guards. Ultimately, after a second shooting in February 2017 and after being cited with several city violations for allowing underage patrons into the bar and serving at least one underage patron, the Des Moines City Council revoked the liquor license for Carbon.

Kyle Jepson Sentencing

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Image may contain: 1 personOn September 29, 2017 Kyle Jepson pleaded guilty to Murder in the Second Degree and Burglary in the Second Degree, both as sexually motivated offenses. Jepson, who had originally been charged with Murder in the First Degree, was sentenced by the Honorable Judge Robert Blink to a term not to exceed 60 years in prison with a mandatory minimum term of incarceration of 35 years before he is eligible for parole. He will be subject to lifetime registration as a sex offender and will be reviewed for civil commitment proceedings before any parole. The plea agreement was entered with the input of the family of the homicide victim, Gloria Gary. The case was prosecuted by Olu Salami and Jeff Noble with the legal assistance of Pam Wheeler.

Terry Rote Sentencing

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Rote.PNGOn August 15, 2017, Terri Lynn Rote was sentenced following her guilty plea to Election Misconduct in the First Degree, a Class D Felony. Rote was charged after she was caught voting twice in the 2016 general election.

Due to the serious nature of the offense, the State resisted the defendant's request for a deferred judgment. Over the State's resistance, Judge Robert Hanson granted the defendant a deferred judgment, allowing her conviction to be expunged following successful completion of her term of probation. As a requirement of probation, the defendant has been ordered to obtain a mental health evaluation and follow through with all recommended treatment.

This case was prosecuted by Assistant Polk County Attorney Kevin Bell.

Travis West Verdict

Monday, April 3, 2017

WestOn March 31, 2017 a Polk County Jury found Travis Raymond Wayne West guilty of the crimes of Involuntary Manslaughter, a Class D Felony, and Delivery of Heroin, a Class C Felony, for directly supplying 26 year old Bailey Brady of West Des Moines, Iowa with the heroin that caused her death.  Sentencing is currently set for May 18, 2017.  The defendant faces a maximum sentence of up to 5 years in prison on the Involuntary Manslaughter charge and a maximum sentence of up to 10 years in prison on the Heroin Delivery charge.   This case 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 6, 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 6, 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 5, 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 8, 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.

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