2 charged in Saturday stabbing

BY ABE TEKIPPE | JUNE 16, 2009 7:11 AM

Iowa City police arrested two men in connection with an attack that left a 37-year-old man with 5-inch-deep stab wounds “all over his torso,” police said.

Harry Rayton IV, 22, address unknown, and Adam Burkart, 19, 216 E. Bloomington St., were charged with attempted murder — a Class B felony. Burkart was also charged with willful injury causing serious injury — a class C felony.

According to police, officers responded to a report of an assault at 216 E. Bloomington St. around 8 p.m. on June 13. Upon arrival, they found a man who had been beaten suffering a broken rib and six stab wounds in the chest, back, and abdomen “in the area of several vital organs.”

“I would say that the victim was extremely lucky that he didn’t die,” Iowa City police Sgt. Troy Kelsay said.

Rayton punched and kicked the victim, while Burkart stabbed him, shouting, “I’ll kill you,” police reports show.

The victim was transported to UI Hospitals and Clinics; he is expected to survive, according to police.

Officers reportedly caught Rayton — who Kelsay said they have arrested before — after a short foot chase on Bloomington Street. He was also taken to the UI Hospitals and Clinics for minor injuries he received during the chase, as well as for an “extreme” level of intoxication.

Following treatment, he was transported to the Johnson County Jail, where he is being held on a $250,000 cash-only bond.

Iowa City police investigators and Cedar Rapids police arrested Burkart — an acquaintance of Rayton and the victim’s — Monday afternoon near Kennedy High School in Cedar Rapids, according to police reports. He is being held at the Johnson County Jail on a $35,000 cash or surety bond.

Even before Burkart was taken into custody, police were “100 percent certain” of the identity of the suspects, Kelsay said, and police are sure there are only two people involved. Kelsay said the apparent “trigger event” was the victim telling Burkart to stop coming into his room without knocking.

“I have to believe there’s more to the story,” Kelsay said.

Both suspects were charged with attempted murder under Iowa’s theory of joint criminal conduct. When numerous individuals participate in a crime, each is responsible for the entire crime, regardless of individual actions.

Because the stabbing took place blocks from Shelter House, 331 N. Gilbert St., some have wondered whether Rayton, who is listed as a transient, was staying at the shelter at the time of the assault.

“We’re not familiar with [Rayton] at all,” said Leon DeBoer, a program manager at Shelter House, adding that shelter officials have double-checked their records to confirm he has never stayed at the there.

But the discrepancy between what actually happened and what community members believe to have happened can be problematic.

“I’m always concerned that when there’s events with people who are listed as transients that some people will connect that to the shelter,” DeBoer said. “I can’t really govern what conclusions folks jump to without their having any knowledge of the facts.”

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