Trial reset for men arrested after officer-involved shooting near Iowa City

Shooting came after drug deal went wrong at Iowa City mobile home park

The federal trial of two of three men arrested in connection with an officer-involved shooting that turned deadly near Iowa City in August has been postponed until May.

Norman Dudley and John Mulbah, both 21, originally were charged with drug violations by Johnson County authorities following a undercover operation gone wrong on Aug. 16 in the Breckenridge Estates mobile home park.

Both men were indicted in November in U.S. District Court, and the Johnson County Attorney’s Office dropped its charges against them. The federal charges Mulbah now faces include conspiracy to distribute cocaine base and five counts of distribution of cocaine base. Dudley faces conspiracy to distribute cocaine base and one count of distribution of cocaine base, according to online federal records.

They originally were set to be tried March 4, but their trials last week were pushed until May 6.

A third man arrested in connection with the case, Demarco Dudley, 23, was not indicted in federal court, and his case remains at the county level. He’s scheduled to be tried on a charge of first-degree robbery May 7.

A federal indictment for Mulbah and Dudley accuses them of conspiring on Aug. 14 and on Aug. 17 to distribute at least 28 grams of a substance containing cocaine. Mulbah also is accused of distributing a mixture containing cocaine on Aug. 10 and Aug. 14, and both men allegedly distributed on Aug. 14, according to the indictment.

Norman Dudley’s brother, Demarco Dudley, was the only one of the three arrested in connection with the Aug. 16 shooting, although authorities have said they suspect all were present.

According to Johnson County Attorney Janet Lyness, two undercover officers with the Iowa Division of Narcotics Enforcement arrived at a trailer outside Iowa City around 7 p.m. Aug. 16 and met Ivan Hardemon, 24. Once inside the unit, Demarco Dudley and another man are accused of emerging from a back room with their faces covered, according to Lyness.

Hardemon pulled out a handgun and asked his cohorts to pat down the undercover officers, Lyness reported. Agent Daniel Stepleton had a gun tucked behind his back, and when one of the masked men found it, Stepleton leaned against the wall to keep him from removing it, according to Lyness.

Hardemon then pressed his gun to Stepleton’s head, Lyness reported, and Stepleton tried to shove the weapon away while reaching for his own. Lyness said he Stepleton fired four shots, hitting Hardemon in the chest and arm.

Demarco Dudley also was shot twice in the arm, according to Lyness.

Hardemon and the men ran from the trailer and fled across the street to an empty lot, where Hardemon collapsed and died, according to Lyness. Dudley made it away from the scene, and he was treated for his injuries at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics.