116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
MASON CITY — A protective order has been issued and a continuance granted to a Chicago man accused of killing another man in Mason City earlier this month.
Jelani Armon Faulk, 25, was scheduled to be arraigned Tuesday in Cerro Gordo County District Court on charges of first-degree murder and interference with official acts. Police say Faulk shot Christopher Tucker, 35, of Garner, early Oct. 3. When an officer arrived and attempted to order Faulk to the ground, police say he raised his weapon and pointed it at the officer, who then shot Faulk several times.
In a motion filed Friday asking to delay his arraignment — when a defendant hears details about the charges against him and can enter a plea — Faulk’s attorneys say County Attorney Carlyle Dalen failed to comply with an order to produce all the required evidence in the case for the defense to review. When contacted by defense attorneys, Dalen said the evidence he had previously passed along — a handful of witness statements and reports, the defense attorneys wrote — was “the best I can do at this time,” according to court documents.
The court approved delaying Faulk’s arraignment until Nov. 9.
Late last week, District Court Judge Rustin Davenport ordered the state Division of Criminal Investigation to remove from its website and social media platforms a news release and letter from Winnebago County Attorney Kelsey Beenken saying Mason City Police Officer Noah Friese was justified in shooting Faulk.
The letter from Beenken came at the request of Dalen, who had sought another independent review of the case.
Faulk’s attorneys filed a motion for a temporary protective order indicating that the DCI unnecessarily published information about the case “that may not be accurate and is potentially harmful to the defendant’s right to a fair and impartial trial.”
In his ruling, Davenport wrote that though the court cannot interfere with press publication of information it receives, he agreed with defense attorneys that the news release might adversely affect jury selection in the case.
Iowa code says that “a prosecutor in a criminal case shall refrain from making extrajudicial comments that have a substantial likelihood of heightening public condemnation of an accused and exercise reasonable care to prevent investigators, law enforcement personnel, employees, or other persons assisting or associated with the prosecutor in a criminal case from making extrajudicial statements that would be prohibited under the rules.”
Besides the DCI, the court also ordered the Mason City Police Department, Cerro Gordo County Attorney’s Office and the Winnebago County Attorney’s Office not to produce the Winnebago county attorney’s letter or the DCI’s news release and to remove it from their websites and any social media platform they use.