Attorney’s Office

Felony Case Summary (August 2019)

On August 1, 2019, Tyrone Hughes, Jr. plead guilty and was sentenced for the crimes of Willful Injury Causing Serious Injury, a Class C felony, with the dangerous weapon enhancement, Intimidation With a Dangerous Weapon, a Class C felony, with the dangerous weapon enhancement, and Escape or Absence From Custody, a Class D felony, in case number FE322774.  Hughes admitted that he shot Aaron Ross as he sat in a car with his girlfriend and children, killing him, and then fled to Illinois to avoid prosecution.  He was sentenced to a maximum term of incarceration not to exceed ten years, ten years and five years, respectively, consecutive to each other for a term not to exceed twenty-five (25) years, with a mandatory ten year term he must serve prior to becoming eligible for parole.  This defendant was prosecuted by the Polk County Attorney’s Office Drug and Gang Bureau.

On August 5, 2019, Marshall Payne, Jr., appeared before the court for a probation revocation hearing where, after a contested hearing, the defendant was found to have violated the conditions of his probation in case number FE309227 for engaging in narcotics trafficking while on probation. The state requested the court proceed to immediate disposition and the court revoked the defendant’s deferred judgment and imposed sentence for the crime of Possession of a Controlled Substance with the Intent to Deliver, a Class D Felony, and remitted the defendant to the department of corrections to serve a five (5) year indeterminate term of incarceration.  This defendant was prosecuted by the Polk County Attorney’s Office Drug and Gang Bureau.

On August 5, 2019, Nicholas Peirsol plead to the crime of Possession of a Controlled Substance, Third Offense, a Class D Felony, in case number SR322846.  He will be sentenced on September 16, 2019 and faces a maximum term of incarceration not to exceed five (5) years.  This defendant was prosecuted by the Polk County Attorney’s Office Drug and Gang Bureau.

On August 5, 2019 Betty Sue Kope Crawford appeared for a probation revocation hearing in Case No. FECR285107.  The defendant was on probation for the crime of Conspiracy to Deliver a Controlled Substance, a Class C Felony.  The Polk County District Court revoked the defendant's probation, and sentenced her to prison for a total term not to exceed ten years.  This defendant was prosecuted by the Polk County Attorney's Office Drug and Gang Bureau.

On August 14, 2019, Kevin Damien Engles plead guilty to the crimes of Possession of a Controlled Substance With Intent to Deliver, a Class D felony, as a habitual offender, Failure to Possess a Tax Stamp, a Class D Felony, as a habitual offender, and Possession of a Controlled Substance with the Intent to Deliver, a Class D Felony, as a second or subsequent offender in case number FE325627.  He will be sentenced on October 23, 2019 and faces a maximum term of incarceration not to exceed forty-five (45) years with a mandatory six-year term he must serve prior to becoming eligible for parole.  This defendant was prosecuted by the Polk County Attorney’s Office Drug and Gang Bureau.

On August 14, 2019, Hillary Joellen Coffey Zern plead guilty to the crimes of Possession of a Controlled Substance With Intent to Deliver, a Class D felony, and Failure to Possess a Tax Stamp, a Class D Felony, in case number FE325647.  She will be sentenced on October 23, 2019, and faces a maximum term of incarceration not to exceed ten (10) years.  This defendant was prosecuted by the Polk County Attorney’s Office Drug and Gang Bureau.

On August 15, 2019, Tyler Marshall was sentenced for the crimes of Possession of a Controlled Substance, a Class D felony, and Felon in Possession of a Firearm, a Class D felony, in case number FE321957.  He was sentenced to a maximum term of incarceration not to exceed ten (10) years and the Court suspended the sentence and granted the defendant an opportunity on probation for a term of five (5) years with the Bridges of Iowa treatment program as a condition of probation.  This defendant was prosecuted by the Polk County Attorney’s Office Drug and Gang Bureau.

On August 15, 2019, William Edgar Burton, III appeared in court in FECR318048 for sentencing. He was previously found guilty following a jury trial of the charge of Robbery on the 2nd Degree.  The Court noted a lack of discretion in determining the defendant would be sentenced to prison as Iowa Code defines Robbery as a forcible felony.  The Court sentenced the defendant to ten (10) years in prison. The Court did have and exercised its discretion in determining if the defendant should be required to serve 50% or 70% of his sentence before he would be eligible for parole.  The Court determined, given the nature of the offense, the fact that he defendant did not take responsibility for his actions, continued to deny illegal substance use and in furtherance of protection of society from the defendant’s violent behavior, that he should not be eligible for parole before serving a mandatory 70% of his sentence. 

Mr. Burton was found guilty just the day prior, on August 14, 2019, of Murder in the 2nd Degree in FECR312779.  The jury found the defendant shot and killed Cory Channon by acting with malice and without justification.  The defendant had entered the residence of Mr. Channon in January 2018 and fired a single shot at Mr. Channon which traveled through his body, breaking ribs, passing through his heart, aorta and liver.  That singlet shot caused the death of Mr. Channon. Mr. Burton left the scene, returned to his home, unloaded his gun and left it on a chair, then walked to a nearby Wendy’s and called police-45 minutes after firing the fatal shot. Although the defendant maintained he had no choice, the jury found he was not justified.  He will be sentenced on the Murder offense in October.

On August 15, 2019, Brady Joe Clausi Sr. entered a plea of guilty to the charges of Forgery and Theft in the Third Degree in FECR326683 and Driving While Barred.  He asked the Court to sentence him immediately. He also asked the Court to sentence him in FECR319279 on the charge of Criminal Mischief in the Second Degree.  The parties reached an agreement wherein, if he entered a plea to the offenses described above, the State would agree to recommend probation with a suspended term of incarceration not to exceed 12 years.  He will be required to make restitution, obtain a substance abuse evaluation and maintain his employment.

On August 15, 2019, Nicholas Pulver appeared for a probation violation hearing in FECR276624. He previously stipulated he had violated the terms of his probation by using illegal substances and absconding supervision. He had previously violated his probation and was required to reside at the Fort Des Moines Facility, which he successfully completed, but within a month was using again and absconded.  The Court discussed options other than incarceration but the defendant was not interested in substance abuse treatment and the State urged the Court to revoke his probation given his repeated non-compliance.  The Court did revoke his probation and sentenced the defendant to five (5) years in prison on each of 2 counts of Forgery, concurrent to each other. 

On August 26, 2019, Julie Berry AKA Adams was sentenced for the crimes of Possession of a Controlled Substance With Intent to Deliver, a Class C felony, and Failure to Possess a Tax Stamp, a Class D felony, in case number FE317542.  She was sentenced to a maximum term of incarceration not to exceed ten (10) years and five (5) years, consecutive, for a total of fifteen (15) years, but this sentence was suspended and she was placed on probation for two years.  This defendant was prosecuted by the Polk County Attorney’s Office Drug and Gang Bureau.

On August 29, 2019, Christian Shamir Sarraff appeared in Polk County District Court in criminal number FECR310236.  Sarraff was earlier granted a suspended sentence and probation after his prison sentence was reconsidered.  Sarraff was alleged to have violated his probation by leaving the state without permission and being arrested on a new felony charge of possession of cocaine in Las Vegas, Nevada.  The Court found Sarraff had violated his probation as alleged, revoked his probation and imposed the original 10-year prison sentence for Conspiracy to Deliver a Controlled Substance (50 or more kilos of marijuana).  Sarraff was prosecuted by the Polk County Attorney's Office Drug and Gang Bureau.

On August 29, 2019 Sheryl Erdman appeared in FECR323486 for purposes of sentencing on the charges of Theft in the 1st Degree, two counts of Fraudulent Practice in the 2nd Degree and Theft in the 2nd Degree stemming from embezzlement from her employer.  The Court granted her request for a Deferred Judgment. The Court noted her age and her relative lack of criminal history.

On August 29, 2019, Trevar Rippey appeared in AGCR325648, AGCR299958, AGCR315209.  He was on probation in AGCR299958 for the charge of driving while barred and in AGCR315209 for Child Endangerment and Possession of marijuana.  He stipulated he violated the terms and conditions of those probations by committing new offenses.  In AGCR325648 he appeared for sentencing.  He previously pled guilty to 4 counts of Neglect of a Dependent Person, driving while barred, OWI 1st offense Possession of Controlled Substance 3rd offense and introducing intoxicants or drugs into an institution.  The probation officer asked the Court to revoke his probation.  The Court considered the PSI, the exhibits submitted by the defendant and the support persons who appeared at his hearing, and granted him probation, suspending 57 years of imprisonment.   The Court required him to remain in jail pending a substance abuse evaluation and a recommended treatment placement.  He will then be on probation for 4 years with conditions that he complete treatment, reside in a sober living house and comply with all other conditions required by the department of corrections.

On August 29, 2019 Jovonte Lawrence appeared in FECR323920 for sentencing. He previously pled guilty to Theft in the Second Degree. The Court granted the defendant’s request for a DJ and placed him on probation for two (2) years.

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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