April 18, 2014

Iowa Falls man shot and killed by police

A police standoff in Iowa Falls on Thursday afternoon ended when a man was shot and killed by law  officers. Iowa State Patrol spokesman Sgt. Scott Bright said the incident happened in the 400 block of College Avenue.

Residents who lived in the neighborhood were ordered to leave due to the situation. Sgt. Bright said the man was suicidal and made threats on Facebook during the standoff with officers. The man came outside of his home, yelled at officers from his porch and walked into his driveway. He then pulled a weapon from his pants, raised it and pointed it at the officers.

The man was then shot and killed by the officers on the scene. The name of the man has not been released with the incident under investigation.

(Reporting by  Pat Powers, KQWC, Webster City)

Iowa lawmaker cites land dispute between U.S. gov’t & Nevada rancher (AUDIO)

A state legislator from southern Iowa took to the floor of the Iowa House to praise “courageous cowboys” in the state of Nevada who armed themselves to protest a government action against a local rancher.  State Representative Larry Sheets, a Republican from Moulton, spoke for nearly six minutes Wednesday afternoon.

“The government must be careful not to appear to be out of control and must follow the law or there will be violence like in the case of the Oklahoma City horror,” Sheets said.

A 21-year-long dispute between the federal Bureau of Land Management and a rancher escalated earlier this month, with federal agents rounding up nearly 400 head of cattle officials said were illegally grazing in the Nevada desert.  The cattle were abruptly released Saturday after protesters, some on horseback and some with guns, lined up along the Nevada-Arizona border to back the rancher.

“This represents a huge victory in the fight against unbridled government,” Sheet said. “American cowboys drew their line in the sand…In the battle of cowboys and bureaucrats, the cowboys won.”

AUDIO of Sheets’ speech, 5:51

Federal officials say rancher Cliven Bundy has failed to pay more than one-million dollars in fees for letting his cattle graze on public land since 1993. Bundy counters that he owes only 300-thousand dollars and he wants to pay it to his county or state rather than the federal government, plus Bundy argues his ancestors began running livestock on that land in the 1880s, before the U.S. Bureau of Land Management was formed, so the agency shouldn’t have jurisdiction in the area.




Oskaloosa man pleads guilty in death of infant

An Oskaloosa man has entered a guilty plea in the death of a seven week old infant. Brian Vilcone, 25, entered the guilty plea on Tuesday to one count of attempt to commit murder and one count of child endangerment resulting in death. Both are class B felonies.

Judge Daniel Wilson set sentencing for June 26. Vilcone will face a mandatory sentence of 25 years in prison for the attempt to commit murder charge and a mandatory sentence of 50 years in prison for the child endangerment resulting in death charge.

Vilcone was arrested and charged on April 23 with first degree murder in the death of seven-week-old Raelynn Hart. Hart died on April 21 as a result of abusive head trauma. During an investigation, the baby’s mother stated that baby had suffered the injuries while in the care of Brian Vilcone. Vilcone later admitted to shaking the baby several times to get her to stop crying.

by Charlie Comfort, KBOE

Autopsy results, victim’s name released in Story County homicide case

Jeremy Cory

Jeremy Cory

An autopsy has confirmed a woman found dead in her Story County home on Monday had been shot multiple times.

The victim is identified as 49-year-old Vallerie Vee Cory and investigators say she may have been killed up to four days prior to the discovery of her body. Her husband is in custody.

Police were sent to Cory’s home in Cambridge in response to a welfare check and found her dead in an upstairs bedroom. Police said a gun found in the home matched the caliber of spent casings found near the body. Officers arrested 44-year-old Jeremy Cory in Huxley early Tuesday morning. He’s charged with first-degree murder.

Man convicted in 1974 Waterloo homicide to be released from prison

A man who was sentenced to life in prison for killing a neighbor over a gambling debt 40 years ago will soon be released on parole. The Iowa Board of Parole issued the decision today for Rasberry Williams, who’s now 68. Once released, he’ll be placed in an assisted living facility.

The parole board’s discussion included what preparations would be made to allow Williams to transition to life outside of prison. Williams was asked if he’d like arrangements to be made for him to travel outside the prison facility’s fence with his counselor for him to “introduce” Williams to “changes” he hasn’t seen before. Williams responded, “It would be lovely. I’d like to do that.” Williams spoke to parole board members in Des Moines via video from the North Central Correctional Facility in Rockwell City.

Williams has maintained he acted in self-defense when he shot and killed another man outside a Waterloo pool hall in 1974. Williams’ daughter, Charletta Suddoth, was just 8-years-old when her father turned himself in to authorities after the shooting. “On the drive up here, we were recanting in the car, when he (entered prison), the style of the day was Afros and stacks for shoes. Now, now we all have technology at our fingertips…he has a beautiful, wonderful sense of humor after all these years,” Suddoth said.

Governor Branstad commuted Williams’ life sentence last year, saying his record in prison “has been extraordinary.” In addition to mentoring other inmates, prison officials said Williams saved the lives of two guards during a hostage situation in 1979.

Suspect arrested in northern Iowa carrying African drug

A Minnesota man was arrested Tuesday on drug charges involving a plant native to Africa.

The North Central Iowa Narcotics Task Force says in the course of an ongoing narcotics investigation, they arrested 38-year-old Dayax Abdi Ahmed of Apple Valley near the intersection of Interstate 35 and State Highway 105 near Northwood.

They say Ahmed was found to be in possession of multiple pounds of “khat” with an estimated street value of $8,000.

It’s a flowering plant that is native to the Horn of Africa that contains an amphetamine-like stimulant which is said to cause euphoria and manic behaviors. It’s mainly ingested by chewing the plant.

Khat is a Schedule One controlled substance. Ahmed is being held in the Worth County Jail.

By Bob Fisher, KRIB, Mason City

Court rules aggravated misdemeanor convictions don’t make Iowans ineligible to vote, serve in public office

The Iowa Supreme Court has ruled a Des Moines Democrat’s second drunken driving conviction does not disqualify him from seeking a seat in the Iowa Senate.

Former State Senator Tony Bisignano is the man who has the second offense “Operating While Intoxicated” conviction on his record. Bisignano’s opponent in June’s Democratic Primary for a Des Moines-area senate seat is former State Representative Ned Chiodo. Chiodo argued Bisignano’s OWI — which is an aggravated misdemeanor — is the kind of “infamous crime” described in the State Constitution as a disqualification from serving in public office.

The Iowa Supreme Court’s ruling concludes Bisignano is eligible to serve as a state senator and eligible to run in the June Primary.  If the court had ruled Bisignano’s conviction made him ineligible, that ruling would have tossed Iowa’s election system into turmoil. Thousands of Iowans with an aggravated misdeamnor conviction on their record likely would have been declared ineligible to vote.

Justice David Wiggins authored a dissent. Wiggins argues the decision could lead the court into “uncharted waters” when its presented with other cases revolving around the “infamous crimes” phrase in the state constitution. Another justice offered a concurring opinion, supporting the court’s decision to allow Bisignano to run, but offering other reasons for arriving at that conclusion.

Read the opinion here.