Attorney’s Office

Richard Shawhan Sentencing

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.  

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