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.
Wednesday, January 17, 2018
On 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.
Monday, January 8, 2018
One Hundred Twenty-seven DEFENDANTS SENTENCED FOR OWI THE MONTH OF November 2017
One hundred twenty-seven defendants were prosecuted for Operating While under the Influence (OWI) in Polk County Associate District Courts in the month of November 2017.
One ninety-nine 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:
Akour Amieth Kongroar, (0.307); Deena Bechtel, (N/A); Davin Bell, (0.325); Alexandra Biehl, (0.222); Melissa Bisignano, (REF); Adam Bowman, (REF); Tianna Brown, (0.205); Matthew Buffington, (0.133); Jessica Buntin, (REF); James Burgett, (0.202); Percy Butler, (0.089); Rex Butler, (0.186); Armando Campos Arechiga, (REF); Jean Chleborad, (0.185); Jacob Clark, (0.199); Jimmy Cross, (0.186); Robert Davis, (0.185); Darin Davis, (0.168); Daniel Dinnauer, (0.19); Sarah Domazet, (DRE); Jessi Engle, (0.131); Sidney Evans, (REF); Jasmine Fetters, (REF); Saul Flores Galvez, (REF); Vincent Ford, (0.155); Lainie Fox, (0.205); Dante Frazier, (0.132); Melvin Freeborn, (DRE); Melvin Freeborn, (DRE); Paula Garrison, (0.285); Bobbi Glenn, (REF); Gabriel Gonzalez, (0.281); Odecius Gray, (0.173); Todd Greenwood, (0.18); Todd Greenwood, (0.18); Abraham Guerrero-Rodriguez, (0.136); Tina Haase Findley, (0.138); Zachary Hall, (0.097); Zachary Hall, (DRE); Lorne Hamling, (0.196); Matthew Harbour, (REF); Benjamin Harger, (REF); Kevin Harrison, (DRE); Devyn Henderson, (DRE); Gilberto Hernandez Martinez, (0.12); Joseph Huber, (0.159); Zekariya Ibrahim, (REF); Janis Johnson, (DRE); Fannie Kalis, (0.13); William Kinsey, (REF); Jon Kleinschmit, (0.141); Justin Knock, (REF); Bobby Lathrop, (DRE); Alex Lindauer, (0.128); Oulaivane Lo, (REF); Emily Longley, (0.211); Alyssa Majeski, (0.181); Marshal Matlage, (REF); Timothy McCulloh, (0.196); Megan Mein, (0.173); Min Min, (REF); Dustin Moad, (REF); Todd Moreno, (0.142); Damian Morgan, (0.142); Rhonda Morton, (REF); Abshir Mudei, (REF); Hector Munoz Carrillo, (0.146); Taylor Myers, (REF); Andrew Oliver, (0.122); Carol Padgett, (REF); Walther Pogyo-Ochoa, (0.246); Laurie Potter, (0.098); Clinton Powell, (0.106); Austin Price, (0.09); Brock Rikkers, (0.156); Dyann Roberts, (REF); Donald Rodasky, (DRE); Shawn Roland, (REF); Tyler Scavo, (0.109); Riley Scheetz, (0.127); Ted Schoonover, (0.253); Jack Schuler, (0.2); Skyler Shane, (REF); Carl Shelton, (0.09); Troy Slusser, (0.139); Robyn Smith, (REF); Benjamin Smith, (0.258); Andriy Soroka, (0.146); Christopher Speirs, (0.126); Cody Spikes, (0.185); Thomas Stalo, (0.154); John Thomas, (0.136); Kelsey Thomas, (0.208); Angela Thompson, (0.125); Devin Thunhorst, (REF); Mark Waller, (0.115); Christopher Wedemeyer, (0.156); Tarelle Wilson, (REF); Scott Zach, (REF).
Of those defendants sentenced for OWI First Offense this report, thirty-two had a test of .160 (twice the legal limit) or greater. The low chemical test among the group was .089 and the high test was .325 (more than FOUR times the legal limit). Nine defendants were prosecuted based upon their use of drugs other than just alcohol (denoted by “DRE”) and twenty-seven refused chemical testing (denoted by “REF”).
Twenty-four 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:
Sabreen Al-Hameed, (DRE); Taylan Berard, (0.12); Taylan Berard, (REF); Paul Brown, (0.204); Chester Brown, (0.15); Donald Crockett, (REF); Leah Dejong, (REF); Michael Gauthier, (REF); Jeremy Gilbert, (DRE); Troy Hoke, (0.183); Andre Jefferson, (REF); Kyleigh Jeffrey, (0.113); Megan Kingsley Hargin, (REF); Clifford Loghry, (0.091); Mabok Manjok, (0.236); Jesus Medina, (DRE); Kyle Meyer, (0.112); Steven Pollock, (0.149); Blake Ricker, (DRE); Alan Rodriguez Paz, (REF); Amanda Sams, (0.153); Nathaniel Sandstrom, (0.133); Katie Stoll, (REF); Troy Thys, (REF).
Of those defendants sentenced for OWI Second Offense who took a chemical test, those tests ranged from a low of 0.091 to a high of 0.204 (more than TWO times the legal limit). Nine of these defendants refused the chemical test.
There were four 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:
Elijah Campbell, (REF); Jason Gast, (REF); Michael Getz, (REF); Matthew Harbour, (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 November 2017, the attorneys directly responsible for handling this challenging, fast-paced and high volume docket were: Maurice Curry, Kailyn Heston, and Jordan Roling, and the support staff responsible for assisting were: Megan Carter, Melanie Lumley, Chelsey Wilson, and Erica Zimmerman.
Monday, January 8, 2018
On December 12, 2017, Isaiah Gilkey appeared in FECR306606 and entered a plea of guilty pursuant to North Carolina v. Alford, to the charge of Attempted Burglary 3rd Degree. He was granted a suspended sentence and placed on probation for 2 years.
On December 12, 2017, Toni Gandy Fisher appeared for a reconsideration of her sentence in FECR288015. She was sentenced on May 24, 2017 to the felony charges of Forgery as habitual offender, two counts and the misdemeanor charge of Theft 3rd Degree. Under Iowa Code section 903.2, a misdemeanant must seek reconsideration of sentence within 30 days of being sentenced. Defendant did not seek reconsideration of her sentence until August. The issue is therefore precluded at this time.
On December 12, 2017, Corey Jermain Thorpe appeared in several matters. He entered pleas of guilty in AGCR308539 to the charge of Domestic Abuse Assault, 2nd Offense; in AGCR309956 to the charge of Neglect of a Dependent; in OWOM083773 to the charge of Operating While Intoxicated, 3rd Offense; in SRCR309008 to the charge of Possession of a Controlled Substance, Marijuana. He will be sentenced on January 29, 2018. He will remain in jail pending disposition. At the time of sentencing, the parties agree the Defendant will be sentenced to consecutive sentences of 18 years. He will be free to argue for probation, but the State will request incarceration.
On December 12, 2017, Kimberly Jo Bullington appeared for sentencing in FECR307313. She previously pled guilty to the charges of Eluding, as a felony, and OWI 2nd Offense. She has a long history of alcohol and substance abuse. She has two prior OWI offenses. In the Eluding she fled the police reaching speeds if 125 mph on a city street of Des Moines. She has participated in treatment since her arrest and has completed the OWI 2nd class. When she was arrested, she refused a breath test for the OWI and is therefore not eligible under the law for a deferred judgment. She requested a Deferred Judgment as to the felony Eluding. The State cited the nature of the offense and her prior history for reasons to enter judgement. The Court granted her a deferred judgment as to the felony
And suspended her sentence as to the OWI offense. The Court determined that if she could be successful on probation she should be rewarded with the benefit of the deferred judgment.
On December 15, 2017, David Leanos appeared for probation violation hearing in FECR303090, AGCR289524 and SRCR289526. The Defendant was to provide proof of compliance with treatment and programming, which he did. He was able to purge his contempt previously imposed. He was continued on probation and is required to meet with his probation officer as required.
On December 15, 2017, Samuel Miller appeared in FECR292245 and AGCR296619 for a probation violation hearing. He admitted he violated the terms of his probation by continuing to use substances. The Dallas County Attorney handled the matter and agreed the Defendant would be continued on probation with the condition that he comply with a substance abuse treatment program which encompasses dual diagnosis.
On December 15, 2017, Esteban Huizar appeared in FECR262925 for sentencing. He previously pled guilty to two counts of Lascivious Acts with a Child where he admitted he had engaged in sexual contact with two male grandchildren. At sentencing, the Department of Corrections recommended incarceration after completing a pre-sentence investigation. The State requested prison as well and argued the sentences run consecutive to each other as there were two different victims. The Defendant requested probation. The Defendant argued the he had only 1 prior offense, a federal offense for drug trafficking for which he served six years in federal prison. He argued that because these offenses occurred prior to his federal incarceration, no purpose would be served by incarcerating him on this offense. He is currently being held by Immigrations and Customs Enforcement and may be deported to Mexico. The Court found, based on the serious nature of the offenses, he should be incarcerated. The Court sentenced him to prison for ten (10) years on each offense and ran the sentences concurrent to each other, inconsideration of his likely deportation. Collateral consequences include the Defendant is required to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life and will be on supervision as if on parole for the rest of his life.
On December 15, 2017, Antwon Johnson appeared in FECR260711. He had previously stipulated to violating a No Contact Order and was sentenced to 20 days in jail. His probation violation was for this same offense. He was sentenced to 20 days contempt, concurrent with his probation.
On December 15, 2017, Skylar Pele Ung appeared in FECR300615 for a probation violation hearing. He admitted he violated his probation by committing a new offense. He had been granted a Deferred Judgment on a Conspiracy charge. His deferred judgement was revoked and judgement was entered consecutive to his new offense and he was continued on probation.
On December 15, 2017, Adam Strahl appeared in FECR300572 and stipulated he violated the conditions of his probation by failing to comply with any conditions of probation. He had been granted a deferred judgment on the charge of Neglect of a Dependent. His deferred judgement was revoked and judgment was entered. He was ordered onto probation anew for two years.
On December 15, 2017, Ricky Ryan was sentenced for the crimes of Possession of a Controlled Substance With Intent to Deliver, a Class B felony, as a second or subsequent offender, Failure to Possess a Tax Stamp, a Class D felony, and Possession of a Controlled Substance, Third Offense, a Class D felony, in case number FE303958. He was sentenced to a maximum indeterminate term of incarceration of twenty-five (25) years, five (5) years and five (5) years, concurrent to each other but 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.
Wednesday, November 1, 2017
On 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.
Tuesday, October 3, 2017
On 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.
Tuesday, October 3, 2017
On 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.
Tuesday, August 15, 2017
On 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.
Monday, April 3, 2017
On 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.
Tuesday, October 11, 2016
On 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.
Tuesday, August 30, 2016
On 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.
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.
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.
Monday, June 6, 2016
On 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.
Tuesday, May 10, 2016
Former 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.
Friday, May 6, 2016
On 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.
Wednesday, April 27, 2016
On 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.
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.
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.
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.
Thursday, November 5, 2015
Wednesday, September 17, 2014
Wednesday, September 17, 2014
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.
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.