CEDAR RAPIDS — A judge set a $2 million bail Wednesday for the man accused of killing a 38-year-old mother of three, who was found in the doorway of her burning garage with “traumatic injuries to her head and other parts of her body” early Sunday before dying a short time later.
Timothy Wesley Evans, 38, of Cedar Rapids, was charged today in Linn County District Court with first-degree murder, first-degree robbery, first-degree burglary and first-degree arson. Evans, arrested Tuesday, is accused of killing Gina Frederiksen after breaking into her detached garage at 1814 I St. SW about 7:34 a.m. Sunday, a criminal complaint shows.
Neighbors called 911 after hearing an explosion and when police arrived, officer Kevin Lukan pulled Frederiksen, who was unresponsive, from the engulfed garage and she was given emergency medical care but died a short time later at the hospital, according to police.
Two witnesses told police Tuesday that Evans described how he killed Frederiksen, just moments after it happened, and he admitted setting the fire in attempt to cover up the crime, according to the criminal complaint.
The police investigation revealed this was random act that started out as a burglary of the garage and turned into a robbery that led to the fatal assault of Frederiksen, the complaint shows.
Evans was also charged with third-degree attempted burglary that occurred before Frederiksen’s death about 4:38 a.m. at 2101 Haven Court SW, which is in the same neighborhood, just south of the other address, according to a criminal complaint.
The homeowner on Haven Court told police she saw a white male, later identified as Evans, on footage from her surveillance camera, according to the complaint. The man was seen approaching her home and the audio picked up the sound of her backdoor shutting as the man tried to get into her house.
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Assistant Linn County Attorney Jennifer Erger, who handled the initial appearance of Evans Wednesday asked 6th Judicial Associate District Judge Casey Jones for at least a $1 million cash-only bail. She said Evans was a “threat and danger to the community” and this was a “brutal and heinous” crime. She also pointed out he had just been released from jail on another burglary charge April 27 and then committed this crime.
Friends of the family attended the hearing Wednesday. Anastasia Basquin, victim/witness coordinator with the Linn County Attorney’s Office, said Frederiksen’s family knew about the hearing but chose not to attend. Basquin said the family didn’t want to make a statement at this time.
Evans, who was wearing a blue padded self-harm jacket as he appeared by video from the Linn County Jail, didn’t speak during the hearing. He looked down most of the time.
Greg Buelow, Cedar Rapids public safety spokesman, said Wednesday after the hearing that three other burglaries were reported April 29 that occurred Saturday night into early Sunday. The others also were detached garages in the 100 block of 19th Avenue SW, 2000 block of Cach Lane SW and 1800 block of Hamilton Street SW. Those incidents remain under investigation.
Buelow was asked if investigators could tie Frederiksen’s garage sale that she advertised on Facebook to Evans’ motive for choosing her garage. Frederiksen’s garage sale was last Friday and Saturday, according to a Facebook post. The sale included many children’s toys and clothing, along with adult clothing and other items.
Buelow said investigators were “exploring all possible reasons” why Evans would select Frederiksen’s garage to burglarize, which could include any social media postings advertising a garage sale.
First Assistant Linn County Attorney Nick Maybanks wouldn’t comment on a possible motive but said there were many things that led to Evans’ arrest. The two witnesses coming forward Tuesday regarding Evans’ confession obviously helped but all of the evidence taken as a whole made the case quickly come together. Maybanks provided assistance and guidance to the investigators in obtaining search warrants.
He declined to provide further details about Frederiksen’s death or cause of death.
A judge released Evans on his own recognizance April 27, pending trial on a third-degree burglary charge. In that case, Evans is accused of entering another person’s vehicle and stealing less than $200 in property on April 15, according to a criminal complaint.
Evans also has several convictions for burglary and drugs, court records show.
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According to a search warrant filed in February, Evans was a suspect in a 2017 house boat fire in northwest Cedar Rapids but was never arrested. His DNA was found on a cigarette butt found in the house. That case remains open, police said.
Maybanks said this remains an ongoing case and encouraged anybody with information should contact the Cedar Rapids Police Department.
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