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Judge lowers bail for man charged with attempted murder in Cedar Rapids workplace shooting

$100,000 bail reduced to $50,000

Jamal Devonte Edwards
Jamal Devonte Edwards

CEDAR RAPIDS — A judge lowered bail for a man accused of shooting a co-worker in April and then fleeing Iowa, only to be arrested about a month later in Alabama, as U.S. marshals were attempting to track him down.

Sixth Judicial District Judge Mitchell Turner lowered bail for Jamal Edwards, 26, which was first reduced from $500,000 cash-only to $100,000 on June 15, and then to $50,000 cash or surety during a bond review phone hearing Tuesday in Linn County District Court.

Linn County Attorney Jerry Vander Sanden, in his written resistance, argued that the judge should deny this second request because defendants aren’t entitled to repeated requests for bail modification.

Leon Spies, Edwards’ lawyer, argued in his brief that Edwards’ family has made attempts to post bail but couldn’t because they don’t have real estate or other collateral necessary to secure a surety bail. If bail were lowered to $50,000, Spies thinks the family could manage that amount.

Spies also argued that a district court judge has the “power” to review and amend a defendant’s release conditions, regardless of the number of requests.

A previous judge also ordered that if Edwards was released, he would be placed under probation supervision. Spies argued that along with the bail, that would ensure Edwards would show up for future court proceedings and would protect the public.

Turner, in modifying the bail, ordered that Edwards would be under probation supervision and said Edwards can’t leave Iowa without written person from the probation office.

Edwards is charged with attempted murder, intimidation with a dangerous weapon, going armed with intent and willful injury causing bodily injury. He is accused of shooting a co-worker, Mark Robertson, 36, about 5 a.m. April 9 inside Associated Materials, 3801 Beverly Rd. SW, according to a criminal complaint.

Police were called to the vinyl window manufacturing business for an active shooter report, the complaint showed. Several employees identified Edwards to police as the man they saw chasing Robertson, while firing several shots at him before running from the scene.

Robertson suffered a gunshot injury to his abdomen and was treated at a hospital and released, according to the complaint.

No further details on a motive for the workplace shooting have been released.

Following the shooting, Shawn Hardy, senior vice president of integrated products for Associated Materials, confirmed Edwards worked at the business, but said he was employed through a temp agency.

Hardy, who is based in Ohio, was unsure what job Edwards did at the facility, which manufactures and assembles vinyl windows.

The shooting, he said, occurred around the end of the third shift. He was unable to comment on how many employees were in the business at that time.

Edwards wasn’t arrested until about a month later, May 8, in Mobile, Ala. The U.S. Marshals Service, in a news release, said it helped locate Edwards by distributing his photo along the Gulf Coast. Edwards was arrested after his father brought him to the Mobile police department to turn himself in.

Comments: (319) 398-8318; trish.mehaffey@thegazette.com

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