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Metro briefs

BY DI STAFF | MARCH 10, 2014 5:00 AM

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Convicted rapist sues state to overturn conviction

A man found guilty of third-degree sexual abuse is suing the state of Iowa to overturn his conviction, according to court documents.

Evan Pfeifer, 21, was accused of raping a woman on the Pentacrest in 2010. He was found guilty in 2012 and sentenced to 10 years in prison. His appeal was denied in January.

Pfeifer, a former UI student, claims his conviction violates the state and federal Constitutions. He contends his counsel did not properly inform him of the consequences of not testifying. He also says his attorney should have objected to a police officer’s testimony and the prosecutor’s closing statement. The closing statement referred to Pfeifer’s failure to testify.

Pfeifer is seeking the overturn of his conviction, the removal from the conviction from his record, a new trial and “any other relief as may be just and appropriate.”

— by Chris Higgins

Police investigate shooting

The Iowa City police are investigating a shooting that occurred on the evening of March 7.

Police officers responded to a report of numerous shots fired at 11:52 p.m. on the 2600 block of Bartelt Road.

One woman was shot, police said; she was transported to the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics.

The Iowa City Area CrimeStoppers is offering a $1,000 cash reward for information leading to the arrest of the suspect(s) involved.

— by Stacey Murray

Man allegedly found with marijuana in his vehicle

A Cedar Rapids man has been accused of possessing marijuana after he was reportedly stopped for speeding.

Melvin Watson, 46, was charged March 7 with possession or distribution of a taxable substance without a tax stamp and controlled-substance violation.

According to an Iowa State Patrol complaint, Watson was stopped for driving 82 mph in a 65-mph zone. A strong odor of raw marijuana was reportedly detected while officers were at the passenger side window, the complaint said.

When Watson opened the glove compartment to locate his registration and insurance card, officials observed a small plastic bag containing marijuana, the complaint said. Watson was searched, and a rolled-up cigar containing marijuana and an ink pen tube used to smoke the cigar were reportedly found in his front sweatshirt pocket.

Officials also allegedly located a plastic bag containing seven more individually wrapped bags of marijuana inside the vehicle’s center console, the complaint said. The driver side door storage compartment also reportedly contained a cigarette box with a rolled up cigar with marijuana.

All items were seized and weighed at the Johnson County Sheriff’s Office; the items weighed 61.28 grams, the compliant said.

Possession or distribution of a taxable substance without a tax stamp is a Class-D felony.

— by Rebecca Morin

Man accused of stealing van

A man has been accused of stealing a Voyager van.

Torian Cleggette, 22, address unknown, was charged July 7, 2013, with second-degree theft.

According to an Iowa City police complaint, following an incident on Davis Street, an officer pursued a gray Voyager van to a parking lot on the 1900 block of Broadway. The officer located the van in the southeast portion of the lot.

Cleggette abandoned the van and jumped a nearby fence, the complaint said. He continued on foot and jumped another fence separating the apartments on Broadway Street from Taylor Drive and got into a white sedan parked at 2017 Taylor Drive and left, the complaint said.

Bloodstains were located in the Voyager, which was confirmed stolen. Blood was also found on the two fences Cleggette jumped over. The DNA obtained from blood in the stolen van and on the fences was identical, the complaint said.

Second-degree theft is a Class-D felony.

— by Rebecca Morin

Man allegedly walks out of Walmart with items not purchased

A Burlington man allegedly tried to walk out of Wal-Mart with more than $1,000 worth of items.

Ray Decker, 59, was charged March 6 with second-degree theft.

According to an Iowa City police complaint, Wal-Mart employees observed Decker walk past cash registers and then the security alarms without paying for merchandise.

Decker had miscellaneous items in tubs with bags on top of the tubs. He made no efforts to stop and pay for the items, the complaint said.

Decker admitted he walked past the registers and the security alarms, but he said he was going outside to see if his son was there.

The miscellaneous items added up to a total of $1,228.52, the complaint said.

Second-degree theft is a Class-D felony.

— by Rebecca Morin

Man allegedly found with marijuana in his home

A local man has been accused of being involved in drug transactions.

Jefferson Davis, 19, was charged March 6 with possession/delivery of marijuana.

According to an Iowa City police complaint, officers executed a search warrant at Davis’ residence. Officers allegedly located drug paraphernalia throughout Davis’ room, a small amount of marijuana, and a digital scale and packaging material in a hidden compartment.

Davis also had a large quantity of U.S. currency in his possession, the complaint said. A search of Davis’ phone produced text messages that indicated several subjects who wished to purchase drugs from him, as well as messages of Davis looking to attain drugs to distribute, the complaint said.

Davis reportedly admitted he is a “middle man” in drug transactions and will sell to other subjects, the complaint said.

Possession/delivery of marijuana is a Class-D felony.

— by Rebecca Morin

Man accused of taking money from MoneyPaks

An Alexander, Iowa, man allegedly depleted more than $2,000 from four MoneyPak cards.

John Clarke, 45, was charged Oct. 9, 2013 with second-degree theft.

According to an Iowa City police complaint, Clarke was at CVS Pharmacy with the victim. Clarke offered to help the victim purchase $2,000 worth of MoneyPak cards.

The victim handed Clarke $2,500 in cash to purchase the cards. Clarke used the $2,500 to purchase four MoneyPak cards for $504.95 each at the register and pocketed the remaining $480.20, the complaint said.

Clarke handed the four cards back to the victim, but scratched off the protective coating revealing the MoneyPak numbers from all the cards before giving them over. The victim later found all four of the cards had their funds depleted, the complaint said.

Once the victim realized what occurred, he attempted to call and text Clarke, but he did not refund the victim’s money. The total loss was $2,480.20.

Second-degree theft is a Class-D felony.

— by Rebecca Morin

Law school adds to accelerated program

The University of Iowa College of Law announced on March 7 another addition to its accelerated degree program with a Storm Lake school.

Buena Vista University will join the law school’s “3 +3” program, which allows students to earn their bachelor’s and law degrees in six years, cutting down on one year’s worth of tuition costs.

Qualified students would be admitted after their junior year and the credits earned during their first year of law school would apply to an undergraduate degree.

The law school announced the accelerated initiative in November, which followed similar efforts by the College of Public Health’s fast-track program.

— by Brent Griffiths


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