Today, August 22, 2014, Muscatine County Attorney Alan R. Ostergren announced that a charge of Murder in the First Degree has been filed against JOSE ANTONIO TAPIA, DOB: 10/15/1986, of Muscatine for the offense of Murder in the First Degree. The trial information alleges that TAPIA murdered Michael Lee Newman on August 8, 2014. The trial information further alleges that the killing was willful, deliberate, and premeditated. The offense is a class "A" felony which carries a mandatory sentence of life imprisonment without the possibility of parole.
TAPIA had been arrested on August 11, 2014, on unrelated drug trafficking offenses. He was then charged with Attempt to Commit Murder and Willful Injury the following day. Newman died as a result of his injuries during the evening of August 20, 2014. Newman had been receiving medical treatment at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics in Iowa City. He did not regain consciousness following the incident. As a result, the charges for Attempt to Commit Murder and Willful Injury have now been superseded by the charge of Murder in the First Degree.
TAPIA remains in the Muscatine County Jail. His bond on all of his pending charges is $300,000 cash only.
The arrest of TAPIA for murder is the result of an investigation by the Muscatine Police Department. The drug charges are the result of an investigation by the Muscatine County Drug Task Force.
The charges filed are merely accusations and the defendant is presumed to be innocent.