116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
CEDAR RAPIDS — Christine Bagley told her son’s killer Friday that he set out Dec. 14, 2018, to hunt down her son and kill him.
In her victim impact statement, she asked Drew Wagner, during his sentencing, “What were you thinking?” as he held down her son — Chris Bagley, 31, of Walker — while Drew Blahnik stabbed him to death.
“A little drug money for someone’s life?” the mother said. “Not only did you kill our son but you made us go through 76 days of hell not knowing what happened to Christopher and where he was. That was pure torture. It only took you 12 minutes to arrive at (Paul Hoff’s) trailer, hold my son down, murder him and leave.”
Bagley also asked Wagner to tell her the truth about who buried her son on his property. “I think you owe us that,” she said.
Wagner, 36, of Cedar Rapids, originally charged with first-degree murder, pleaded last year to amended charges of voluntary manslaughter, assault while participating in a felony, conspiracy to commit a forcible felony, abuse of a corpse and obstruction of prosecution.
The plea agreement required Wagner to cooperate with investigators and prosecutors and testify against Blahnik, which he did last month.
Blahnik was convicted of second-degree murder, abuse of a corpse and obstruction of prosecution. According to testimony, he stabbed Bagley 13 times — most of the wounds in the neck and torso were capable of killing him.
Wagner, during testimony at Blahnik’s trial, admitted that he went with Blahnik, 34, to Paul Hoff’s mobile home with the intent to assault Bagley for their drug dealer, Andrew Shaw, who hasn’t been charged in this case.
Bagley had robbed Shaw of money and drugs. Later, Wagner admitted that Blahnik and Shaw had talked about Blahnik killing Bagley.
Wagner admitted he was holding down Bagley while Blahnik stabbed him multiple times. He said a gun, which he said belonged to Bagley, fell to the floor during the fight but was never a threat to either he or Blahnik.
Wagner, during his plea, also admitted to helping move the body to his residence and burying the body on the property.
During Friday’s sentencing, Wagner said this “is a day of healing for Chris’ family.”
He turned to Bagley’s parents, Stewart and Christine Bagley, and apologized to them and “all the families affected by Chris’ death.”
Wagner, tearing up, said he also was sorry to put his daughter through this. He would never forgive himself for being there that night and not coming forward with the truth. He said he understands an apology “won’t be good enough.”
Linn County Attorney Jerry Vander Sanden asked 6th Judicial District Judge Christopher Bruns to sentence Wagner to 47 years in prison for all charges, which Bruns did.
The judge sentenced Wagner to 37 years for the charges involving Bagley’s death. He then ran two five-year sentences — on the possession of opioids and a drug tax violation — concurrently for a total 47 years in prison.
Wagner also will have to pay $150,000 to Bagley's family, along with another $19,500 to the crime victim’s assistance program.
Bruns suspended the court fines against Wagner because of the restitution obligations.
Chris Bagley’s widow, Courtney Bagley, said in her statement she hopes Wagner will someday realize what he did to her and her children. It makes her angry, she said, they have to “talk to an urn” now.
She told Wagner he has shown “zero remorse” toward the Bagley family. Her son, who is the “spitting image of his father,” now has panic attacks. He is scared someone will come to their house and hurt his mother.
Her daughter, who was 3 when her father went missing, cries when they talk about their memories of her father. She was screaming and crying for him during those days he was missing — “while he was buried in your yard.”
“You are a monster to me,” Courtney Bagley said.
Bagley’s sister, Lori Ruiz, in her statement, said she was devastated over the loss of her brother and angry that “two so-called men” murdered him and then went on “living their lives like it was no big deal.”
Ruiz said she sat and listened to Wagner tell his story during the trial and watched him “push out tears” for the family.
“I must say he is a better actor than his accomplice,” Ruiz noted.
She said she is as sad and heartbroken as she is angry. Her brother, she said, was one of the most loving people. His kids “were his world,” and he will miss their birthdays, holidays and every other life event.
“He was always the fun uncle (to her kids), messing around with them and playing,” she said. “I miss him stopping by my house or randomly calling me. He always made sure his big sister was doing OK and, if not, he was there
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