A 28-year-old Des Moines man was arrested and charged Monday with first-degree murder and first-degree robbery in the killing of a 17-year-old. Officials believe additional arrests are to come. They also believe that the teen was targeted, and it was not a random crime.
Law enforcement officials received a call stating that shots had been fired around 8:40 p.m. on Sunday, April 14th. The location was in the 1700 block of East 12th Street, on the city's northeast side. Just a few minutes later, a gunshot victim arrived at MercyOne Medical Center, where he died just a short while later. The teen is the youngest victim of gunfire in Des Moines since June 2018. The victim of that shooting was also 17 years old.
Officers made the arrest on Monday, April 15th. The man is being held at the Polk County Jail without bond, and the investigation is still ongoing. In the state of Iowa, first-degree murder is a class A felony punishable by life in prison without parole. First-degree robbery is a class B felony carrying a prison term of 25 years.
Charges this serious should never be faced alone. Expert legal advice can have a significant impact on a defendant's sentencing. A seasoned criminal defense attorney will likely be able to negotiate lesser charges or even a plea deal with the state. A person charged with a crime that could result in life in prison should not walk into a courtroom alone. It is important to consult with an attorney as soon as possible after an arrest.