116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
He faces up to 10 years in a federal prison on the charge
CEDAR RAPIDS — The man who killed Chris Bagley in 2018 pleaded not guilty Wednesday to a federal firearms charge.
Drew Alan Blahnik, 34, of Marion, who changed his name to Johnny Blahnik Church after his murder conviction, was formally charged and pleaded not guilty to possession of a firearm by a drug user Wednesday in U.S. District Court. In court documents, he still is referred to as Drew Blahnik.
He was indicted in 2019, but the case didn’t move forward until a federal judge Monday granted a prosecutor’s motion to move Blahnik into federal custody pending trial.
Federal prosecutors waited until Blahnik was tried for Bagley’s murder in Linn County District Court. He was convicted and sentenced last year to 57 years in prison for fatally stabbing Bagley on Dec. 14, 2018.
According to the federal indictment, Blahnik is accused of being an unlawful user of cocaine and methamphetamine and possessing a Glock .40-caliber handgun and multiple rounds of ammunition Feb. 25, 2019. Authorities found the items at his Marion apartment.
Last week, Blahnik, originally charged in Linn County District Court of possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance — marijuana — and drug tax stamp violation, pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of possession of a controlled substance, a serious misdemeanor.
He was sentenced to two days in jail and given credit for previous time served. Blahnik has been in jail since he was indicted on the federal charge in 2019. He then was charged in Bagley’s murder Oct. 31, 2019.
Blahnik, who claimed self-defense in the Bagley killing, was convicted by a Linn County jury in July of second-degree murder, obstruction of prosecution and abuse of a corpse. He stabbed Bagley, 31, of Walker, 13 times in the neck and torso.
Drew Wagner, who agreed to testify against Blahnik as part of a plea deal, said Blahnik stabbed and killed Bagley because Bagley had robbed Andrew Shaw of drugs and money. Shaw, who was not charged in Bagley’s slaying, is in federal prison after being convicted of being a large-scale marijuana trafficker in Cedar Rapids.
If convicted on the federal charge, he faces up to 10 years in prison. A trial date has not yet been set.
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