Gang participation charge added to man accused in Iowa City Ped Mall homicide

Lamar Wilson's first-degree murder trial begins Nov. 7

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IOWA CITY — Prosecutors added a charge of gang participation this week for Lamar Wilson, already charged with first-degree murder in a Pedestrian Mall shooting in August.

Wilson, 21, was charged Wednesday in Johnson County District Court with criminal gang participation, which carries a five-year prison term. In addition to the murder charge, Wilson also was previously charged with two counts of attempted murder and three counts of intimidation with a dangerous weapon. He has pleaded not guilty to the earlier charges and plans to use the “stand your ground” law in his defense.

An amended complaint shows Wilson actively participated and is a member of a criminal street gang and “committed murder, attempted murder and intimidations with a dangerous weapon for the benefit of or at the direction of or in association with any criminal street gang.”

Wilson is accused of shooting Kaleek Jones, 23, and two other men on Aug. 27. Jones later died of a gunshot wound to his back and neck.

Police patrolling the Ped Mall early on Aug. 27 responded to the shooting near College and Dubuque streets around 1:29 a.m. Police said the shooting was the result of a feud between two groups — one predominantly from Iowa City and the other largely from Cedar Rapids.

Wilson is accused of firing several rounds at people in close range near the walkway between the Sheraton Hotel and Martini’s bar. Wilson was found with two firearms when he was captured a short distance from where the shooting happened. He had a valid permit to carry a gun.

Wilson in his “stand your ground” defense will argue he fired his weapon in self-defense or in defense of others, according to court documents filed last week.

Under “stand your ground” — which became law July 1 — Iowans are not required to retreat from a threat or call police before using deadly force.

Wilson remains in jail on a $1 million cash only bond and his trial is set for Nov. 7. If convicted of the murder charge, Wilson faces life in prison without parole.

l Comments: (319) 398-8318; trish.mehaffey@thegazette.com

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