Boens convicted of first-degree murder for killing roommate

Published 11/20/2023 12:14:00 PM

A Polk County jury convicted a Des Moines man of first-degree murder Monday for killing his roommate in January. 

Surfan Boens, 51, called 911 in the early morning of Jan. 13, 2023, saying that he had found his roommate unresponsive in their hotel room in the 4800 block of Fleur Drive. Responders found Russell Allen McKeehan Jr., 45, dead of gunshot wounds. 

Witnesses heard gunshots in the room a few hours earlier, and evidence showed that Mr. Boens had left and come back to the room several times in the interim. Witnesses also said he had admitted to doing “something really bad.”  

Mr. McKeehan’s death was the second homicide of 2023.  

First-degree murder carries a mandatory sentence of life in prison. 

The case was prosecuted by Kevin Bell and Amanda Johnson, with assistance from Lindsay Scott. Detective Spencer Taylor and other officers with the Des Moines Police Department investigated the case.