Iowa City shooting suspect makes initial appearance

Undercover officer met with Dudley Aug. 14 at Iowa City Kmart for drug deal

Norman Dudley
Norman Dudley

A third person identified in connection with a fatal shooting Thursday east of Iowa City made his initial appearance in Johnson County court Monday morning after turning himself in to police Sunday night.

Norman Dudley, 20, of Iowa City, faces a felony controlled substance violation after an undercover officer with the Iowa Division of Narcotics Enforcement reported meeting with him Aug. 14 and paying $950 for 14.1 grams of cocaine, according to a criminal complaint made public Monday morning.

The alleged transaction happened near the Iowa City Kmart at 901 Hollywood Blvd., and it occurred two days before a deadly undercover drug investigation Thursday at which authorities said he was present.

According to the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation, a handful of undercover officers with the Johnson County Drug Task force went to a mobile home in the Breckenridge Estates mobile home park off Taft Avenue SE about 6:30 p.m. Thursday as part of a narcotics investigation.

After they arrived, the drug deal turned deadly with shooting erupting and one man – identified as Ivan Hardemon, 22 – dying at the scene, according to authorities.

Demarco Dudley, 22, Norman Dudley’s brother, reportedly was shot at the scene, and Norman Dudley drove him to a nearby location, where he was picked up by a passing ambulance and rushed to a nearby hospital, according to investigators.

Demarco Dudley was booked into the Johnson County Jail on Friday night, and he faces a felony charge of first-degree robbery.

According to a criminal complaint, Demarco Dudley’s robbery charge stems from the fatal shooting, during which undercover officers arrived at the mobile home park to buy illegal drugs for a large amount of cash. The suspects had advance knowledge of the transaction, and after they arrived, two men emerged from a back room – one with a handgun and one with a club – and threatened the undercover officers, according to the complaint.

Witnesses reported hearing several shots at different pitches, indicating to them that different weapons were used, and Hardemon was found dead behind a nearby mobile home. Details of Hardemon’s alleged involvement in the transaction have not been made public, although authorities said he died of an apparent gunshot wound.

A fourth man, John Mulbah, 20, was wanted for questioning after fleeing the scene of the fatal shooting Thursday, and police also arrested him Friday evening after a four-hour standoff ended with officers shooting teargas into the apartment he was barricaded inside.

Mulbah faces a felony controlled substance violation on accusations that he met with an undercover officer on Aug. 13, three days before the shooting, and sold him cocaine for $850.

The Division of Narcotics Enforcement has said two of its officers involved in the undercover operation were involved in the shooting, and they’ve both been placed on paid administrative leave pending a review of the incident. Their names have not been made public.

Demarco Dudley is being held in the Johnson County Jail in lieu of $100,000 bond, Norman Dudley is being held on a $25,000 bond, and Mulbah is being held on a $50,000 bond.

Norman Dudley said little during his initial appearance Monday morning, telling the judge "yes sir" and "no sir," and saying he doesn't know whether he's going to apply for a public defender or hire a private attorney.Authorities have said they're continuing to investigate both the alleged narcotics violations and the fatal shooting that occurred during the undercover operation.