116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
IOWA CITY — Drugs and revenge led to the murder of a 21-year-old Iowa City man last year, according to trial testimony.
Following a six-day trial last month, a Johnson County jury found Reginald Little, 46, guilty of first-degree murder. He faces life in prison without parole at sentencing, which has not been set.
Testimony showed Little and Durojaiye Rosa, 24, both of Iowa City, planned to rob Winters of drugs and money on April 20, 2020.
Little had bought drugs before from Winters. Rosa was Winters’ roommate. Both men knew Winters had a large supply of drugs.
The men hadn’t planned to kill Winters during the robbery, but a struggle ensued, and Winters was fatally shot while his two children and his girlfriend, Tashauna Gooden, were in their apartment. The children and girlfriend were not harmed.
Rosa, also charged with first-degree murder, testified at Little’s trial and said he had a gun “go missing” and thought Winters knew who had taken it. Rosa said he was mad because Winters hadn’t done anything about it, and that’s when he hatched the robbery plan with Little.
Patrick Bland, 34, of Rockford, Ill., also charged with first-degree murder, testified Little brought him into the robbery scheme. The two men lived near each other and were acquaintances.
Police initially didn’t know Bland was involved until they recovered surveillance camera footage, which provided the prosecution with much of the evidence in the case, according to testimony.
That footage and cellphone records showed Little was in the area of the residence just before shots were fired, according to testimony.
Investigators presented evidence Little was communicating with Rosa about entering Winters’ apartment moments before shots were fired. Rosa told Little that Gooden, Winters’ girlfriend, had left and would be gone about 20 minutes.
Bland and Little were sitting in Little’s car in the parking lot waiting for the girlfriend to leave.
Bland, who had a gun and was wearing a stocking mask, went inside to rob Winters of drugs and money, according to testimony. Gooden came back and saw Winters struggling with Bland but she couldn’t identify him because of the mask.
Rosa pulled Gooden and the children into the bathroom before the shots were fired.
Gooden testified that she tried to get Rosa to go help Winters but he didn’t.
Police responded about 9:55 a.m. to the report of a shooting and found Winters with multiple gunshot wounds. He died inside the apartment.
Rosa also testified he was shot in the head and foot that evening by Winters’ father, Tyris D. Winters, 42, of Peoria, Ill., and Tony M. Watkins, 40, of Iowa City, who confronted him about Kejuan’s death. They were charged with attempted murder charges.
Little and Bland left the state. Little was arrested in Texas, and Bland was arrested in Minneapolis. Both were extradited to Iowa.
Bland and Rosa were offered plea agreements to lesser charges for testifying at Little’s trial.
Rosa pleaded last week to first-degree robbery, first-degree burglary and voluntary manslaughter. He faces up to 50 years in prison and must serve 17 1/2 years before being eligible for parole. His sentencing is set for March 4.
Bland pleaded Monday to second-degree robbery, first-degree burglary, voluntary manslaughter and possession of a firearm by a felon. He was sentenced to a term of up to 60 years and must serve a mandatory minimum of 20 years before being eligible for parole.
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