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Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
CEDAR RAPIDS — A second teenager charged in the fatal shooting of University of Iowa student Malik Sheets at a party last summer pleaded to lesser charges and will face five years in prison, according to plea agreement filed late Monday.
Marshawn L. Jeffries, 18, originally charged with first-degree murder and obstruction of prosecution, submitted a written guilty plea to a new charge of intimidation with a dangerous weapon, a felony, and to obstruction, a misdemeanor.
Jeffries, in the plea for the gun charge, admitted he threatened to shoot a firearm into a group of people during a June 18, 2020, party when Sheets, 20, of Cedar Rapids, was fatally shot by another. The group Jeffries threatened had “a reasonable expectation that the threat would be carried out,” the plea states.
In the obstruction plea, he admitted to destroying, altering, concealing or disguising physical evidence with the intent to prevent an arrest or to obstruct the prosecution of another person in the fatal shooting.
First Assistant Linn County Attorney Nick Maybanks told The Gazette, after Christian Emedi also pleaded to a lesser charge in the shooting, that some people were not being truthful to police during this investigation. Just recently, those individuals came forward to shed some light on what happened when Sheets was killed.
After Jeffries’ plea was filed, Maybanks said, authorities learned Jeffries - one of those not being truthful - didn’t shoot Sheets but “shares some of the culpability” in what happened at that party.
Initially, witnesses falsely told investigators and prosecutors that Jeffries had shot Sheets after Emedi had shot him.
“His (Jeffries) plea agreement holds him accountable for his role,” Maybanks said.
A judge hadn’t approved the plea as of Tuesday, but it likely will be approved unless the paperwork isn’t complete in some way or if the judge decides not to go along with the plea deal.
Jeffries faces two years in prison for obstruction and five years on the gun conviction. According to the plea, he would receive the two years as time served because he has been in jail since June 2020, but would have to serve the five years.
Emedi, also charged with first-degree murder and obstruction of prosecution, pleaded earlier this month to second-degree murder. He admitted to shooting Sheets and faces up to 15 years in prison, according to a plea agreement.
Last year, Cedar Rapids police responded to a report of shots fired about 5 a.m. June 18 at 1058 Regent Ave. NE and found Sheets badly injured inside the house, where a large party had been held earlier. Sheets died from gunshot wounds to his neck and chest.
Investigators learned from witnesses that Sheets and several others were arguing with two people — identified as Emedi and Jeffries — when he was shot, according to the criminal complaint.
During a hearing last month, Cedar Rapids police investigator Matt Denlinger testified that witnesses said Emedi assaulted one person and shot Sheets.
Emedi and Jeffries fled to Gurnee, Ill., on June 19, where they were arrested.
Jeffries’ sentencing will be set after the agreement is approved. Emedi’s sentencing is set for Jan. 28 in Linn County District Court.
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