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Thursday, April 21, 2016

20-year prison sentence in death of Muscatine woman

Today, April 21, 2016, Muscatine County District Judge Nancy Tabor imposed a prison sentence of not to exceed 20 years against HIRAM SERRANO, SR. for the offenses of voluntary manslaughter and burglary in the second degree. He will be transported to the Iowa Medical and Classification Center at Oakdale, Iowa to begin serving his prison sentence.

Additional details about the case may be found here.

SERRANO's mugshot:


Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Muscatine man found guilty after jury trial

Roberto Murillo, Jr., 25, of Muscatine, Iowa was found guilty yesterday by a Muscatine County jury of the offense of failure to appear. Murillow had been released on bond in a felony drug case. Evidence at trial showed that he failed to appear in court for a pretrial conference on March 20, 2015.

The court later determined that Murillo is a habitual offender under Iowa law. He has prior felony convictions for willful injury, criminal gang participation, and drug trafficking. As a habitual offender he faces a prison sentence of not to exceed 15 years. He will be sentenced June 10, 2016, at 9:45 a.m. He remains in the Muscatine County Jail pending sentencing.

Murillo's mugshot:

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Guilty plea in death of Muscatine woman

Today, March 1, 2016, in Muscatine County District Court:

HIRAM ANTONIO SERRANO, SR., 51, pleaded guilty today to voluntary manslaughter and burglary in the second degree. The plea agreement calls for him to serve a 20-year prison sentence.

Serrano had been charged with murder in the first degree in connection with the death of Theresa Jackson. Serrano attacked Jackson on November 14, 1990, causing serious injuries including paralysis. Serrano was arrested and charged with attempt to commit murder and willful injury. He was convicted following a jury trial and sentenced to serve an indeterminate term of not to exceed 35 years.

Jackson lived as a quadriplegic after the attack. She had a variety of medical complications due to her condition. She died October 5, 2012, at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics. The medical examiner later determined that because she died of complications of her original injuries that her death was a homicide.

Serrano was charged with Jackson's murder in February, 2013.

Muscatine County Attorney Alan R. Ostergren had the following statement:

"This was a very unusual case from the very beginning. It is uncommon for the victim of an assault to die from the injuries almost 22 years later. Evidence and court records had been lost and witness memories had faded. Thankfully the Iowa Attorney General's office was able to locate their copy of the original trial transcript. This allowed us to start the process to build the case to charge Mr. Serrano again.

"It was important to me to achieve a result which held him accountable for Theresa's death but also took into account that Mr. Serrano has lived a crime-free life since his release from prison. This case presents in a very unusual way the conflict between punishment and rehabilitation. It is my hope that this outcome achieves what we always want: justice for all concerned.

"I would like to thank the Muscatine Police Department and the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation for their work on this case."

Serrano will be sentenced April 21, 2016, at 1:30 p.m. In accordance with Iowa law the Court revoked his bond after the guilty plea. He will remain in custody until sentencing.

Serrano's mugshot:


Friday, February 19, 2016

Guilty plea in Muscatine bank robbery case

Today, February 19, 2016, in Muscatine County District Court:

STACY FINCHER, 35, of Westfield, Indiana, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit a forcible felony, a class "C" felony. FINCHER admitted to conspiring with Thomas Alexander Davis to assist him in robbing the U.S. Bank in Muscatine, Iowa on November 28, 2012.

The arrest and prosecution of FINCHER was the result of an investigation by the Muscatine Police Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Davis was found guilty on February 11, 2016, after a jury trial in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Iowa. FINCHER provided testimony at Davis's trial.

"This case is an excellent example of cooperation between local and federal law enforcement authorities," said Muscatine County Attorney Alan R. Ostergren. "The FBI identified Davis and Fincher as suspects in our bank robbery. This development, combined with the excellent investigative work the Muscatine Police Department did, allowed for criminal charges to be filed," Ostergren continued. "I am very pleased that these individuals have been brought to justice," he added.

FINCHER will be sentenced April 8, 2016, at 9:00 a.m.

FINCHER'S mugshot:




Davis's mugshot:




In other matters:

STEVE POGGEMILLER, 57, of Sperry, Iowa, pleaded guilty to theft in the first degree. Investigation by the Muscatine Police Department showed that he took a motor vehicle from an individual in the vicinity of the 3500 block of Mulberry. POGGEMILLER was later arrested in Benton County, Iowa and faces criminal charges in that county as well.

POGGEMILLER will be sentenced April 15, 2015, at 9:00 a.m.

POGGEMILLER's mugshot:

Monday, February 8, 2016

Guilty plea in hotel robbery

Today, February 8, 2016, in Muscatine County District Court TIMOTHY LEE WADDEN, 36, of Muscatine, pleaded guilty to the following offenses:


  • Robbery in the second degree, a class "C" felony;
  • Felon in possession of a firearm, a class "D" felony; and
  • Theft in the third degree, an aggravated misdemeanor.


These offenses were related to a robbery on November 22, 2015, at Hotel Muscatine on Highway 61 in Muscatine. In addition, WADDEN pleaded guilty to the following other offenses:

Harassment in the first degree, an aggravated misdemeanor;
Interference with official acts, a simple misdemeanor;
Possession of a controlled substance (third offense), a class "D" felony; and
Theft in the third degree.

The plea agreement calls for sentences on all counts to be run consecutively for a total term of incarceration of not to exceed 26 years and one month. WADDEN will not be eligible for parole until he has served a mandatory minimum term of seven years.

The arrest of WADDEN was the result of investigations by the Muscatine Police Department.

WADDEN will be sentenced March 25, 2016, at 9:45 a.m. He will be held in custody without bond pending sentencing.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Statement regarding officer-involved shooting in Muscatine

STATEMENT OF MUSCATINE COUNTY ATTORNEY ALAN R. OSTERGREN AND MUSCATINE COUNTY SHERIFF C.J. RYAN INTO
INCIDENT ON JANUARY 15, 2016

On January 15, 2016, there was an officer-involved shooting in Muscatine, Iowa involving a Muscatine County Sheriff’s Deputy and a Muscatine Police Department officer. The Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation has led an investigation into the incident.

The DCI investigation shows that Timothy Seefeldt was the operator of a 2008 Hummer H3 which had been stolen earlier that evening in Muscatine. Dep. Eddie Cardenas located the H3 and attempted to effect a traffic stop. He was assisted by Muscatine Police Department Off. Anthony Arnaman. Seefeldt attempted to elude the law enforcement vehicles but the pursuit ended quickly when Seefeldt drove into the parking lot of a motel which was a dead end.

Despite being stopped, Seefeldt refused to obey Dep. Cardenas’s commands. He abruptly placed the H3 in reverse and backed up. He struck Dep. Cardenas’s squad car with the front door of the H3. Dep. Cardenas perceived this action as threatening – both to himself and to Off. Arnaman. Dep. Cardenas fired his duty weapon in response to the threat. Seefeldt then struck four parked cars in the motel parking lot before stopping again. Dep. Cardenas fired his duty weapon again when he believed that Seefeldt was placing the vehicle in drive in order to move forward at him.

Seefeldt sustained a non-life threatening gunshot wound to the upper torso as a result of Dep. Cardenas’s actions. He surrendered to Dep. Cardenas and Off. Arnaman. He was later transported to Trinity Hospital-Muscatine and then to the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics. He left the UIHC against medical advice.

County Attorney Ostergren stated “I have considered the application of Iowa law to the actions of Dep. Cardenas. A person is permitted to use force, including deadly force, to prevent or resist an imminent threat of death or injury to himself or to another. Dep. Cardenas’s actions were reasonable based upon the threat presented by Seefeldt’s actions. I therefore find that the shooting of Seefeldt by Dep. Cardenas was lawful.

“I would like to emphasize that I do not merely find Dep. Cardenas’s actions to meet the minimum standards imposed by the law. In my view he acted bravely during this incident. He was motivated primarily by a desire to protect a fellow officer and the public in general. His actions and demeanor during this incident were in the finest traditions of Iowa law enforcement.”

Sheriff C.J. Ryan stated “I have reviewed Dep. Cardenas’s actions in regard to departmental policy on the use of force. I find that Dep. Cardenas’s actions were in compliance with all applicable policies. I share the view that Dep. Cardenas acted bravely during this incident. A motor vehicle can be just as dangerous as a gun or knife. Dep. Cardenas acted decisively to end the threat. I am proud of him.”


Criminal charges against Seefeldt are pending.

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Two Muscatine County sexual abuse cases affirmed on appeal

The Iowa Court of Appeals decided on December 23, 2015, two appeals of sexual abuse convictions prosecuted in Muscatine County. The court affirmed the convictions in both cases. The cases were:

State of Iowa v. Joshua Corwin. Corwin was found guilty of sexual abuse in the first degree, willful injury, and theft in the second degree. The appeals court rejected his claim that there was insufficient evidence to convict him. Corwin was sentenced to life without the possibility of parole.

State of Iowa v. David Rickey. Rickey was found guilty of sexual abuse in the second degree. The appeals court rejected his claims that the trial court made errors in rulings on the admission of certain evidence and other decisions during trial. Rickey was sentenced to a prison sentence of not to exceed 25 years. He must serve 17.5 years before being eligible for parole.