Cedar Rapids man to serve 4 years for firearms, drugs

Derek Hughes-Doby one of four tied to unsolved homicide

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CEDAR RAPIDS — A Cedar Rapids man was sentenced to four years in federal prison Wednesday for possessing firearms by an unlawful drug user.

Derek Hughes-Doby, 29, is one of four men seen leaving a house last year after shots were fired and Bryan A. Edwards, 32, was found dead on Sept. 10, according to court documents. However, Hughes-Doby and the others have not been charged in the unsolved homicide.

Hughes-Doby pleaded guilty in December to one count of possession of firearms by an unlawful drug user. He faced up to 10 years in prison.

U.S. District Chief Judge Linda Reade said she can’t say who, if any of the four, was the shooter. The other three also have been convicted on firearm and drug charges and are serving various sentences in federal prisons.

Hughes-Doby tried to “finger” Cecil Howell as the shooter at his sentencing but Reade didn’t find sufficient evidence to say Howell is guilty of homicide.

This sentencing hearing started in August and was continued because Reade wanted to review that testimony and other reports in this case.

Reade said Wednesday Hughes-Doby made numerous inconsistent statements and his claims were unreliable regarding Cecil Howell. She didn’t think he perjured himself, but he was trying to distance himself from the .22 caliber pistol — which police say is the gun involved in Edwards’ death — found in the car that the four were in that night.

Hughes-Doby testified at Cecil Howell’s sentencing that he was there with Howell and three others to retrieve Howell’s clothes from 1045 G Ave. NW when Howell got into a fight with Edwards and pistol-whipped him.

The gun went off, he said, the bullet hitting Edwards.

Neighbors testified in June they saw four men running down the driveway and seeing what they described as a fight before hearing a gunshot.

Hughes-Doby, Cecil Howell, 45, Trendes Howell, 28, and Keith Moore Jr., 30, fled from Edwards’ home after Edwards was fatally shot, according to court documents.

Police then found the four men with guns and marijuana in the vehicle that was seen leaving the house, which led to the federal charges.

The Edwards homicide remains an open and active investigation, Cedar Rapids police said last month.

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

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