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Murder trial moved to 2021 for Cedar Rapids man accused of killing another over cigarettes

Search warrant: Witnesses provides details of what led to shooting

Jermaine A. Walker
Jermaine A. Walker

CEDAR RAPIDS — The murder trial for a Cedar Rapids man, accused of killing a man over a pack of cigarettes after a party last year, has been reset from November to next year in Linn County District Court.

Jermaine Walker, 37, is charged with first-degree murder, intimidation with a dangerous weapon, going armed with intent and felon in possession of a firearm. He is accused of fatally shooting Wayne Jones, 31, of Cedar Rapids, on Nov. 2, 2019.

Sixth Judicial District Andrew Chappell recently reset the trial to Jan. 25 after Alfredo Parrish, Walker’s lawyer, asked the court for more time to prepare his case and possibly retain an expert to testify.

First Assistant Linn County Attorney Nick Maybanks didn’t resist the continuance.

An unsealed search warrant affidavit reveals additional details not previously included in court records.

The affidavit shows a woman called 911 at 5:43 a.m., saying someone was shot in the chest. Former Cedar Rapids police Sgt. Lucas Jones, who was fired in June for violating policy during a traffic stop in 2016 and lying about it, was first to arrive at 932 38th St. SE. He found Wayne Jones, who had an empty gun holster on his hip, lying on the living room floor with a gunshot wound to his chest.

The warrant shows that before Jones received medical attention on the scene, Lucas Jones questioned him about the suspect, but he only cursed at the officer.

Jones was taken to St. Luke’s Hospital by ambulance and died there at 6:47 a.m., according to the affidavit.

The 911 caller, “K.R.,” initially told police a Black man, wearing a plaid jacket and ski masked entered the apartment and shot Jones once, the affidavit states. The shooter then held K.R. by the arm to prevent her from helping Jones. She said the suspect left after watching Jones suffer for a while. K.R. believed the suspect wanted Jones to die, according to the affidavit.

Later that day, another officer received a call from “L.J.,” saying K.R. admitted she lied to officers. K.R. told her the shooting was over a pack of cigarettes. Jones argued with a man who is known as “Chico,” later identified as Walker, who is the cousin of K.R.’s boyfriend.

Walker, who was at the party, was smoking others’ cigarettes, Jones called him out for being “cheap,” and an argument started. Walker left the party but intentionally left his phone, so he would have a reason to return, L.J. told police.

When Walker returned, he shot Jones and pointed the gun at K.R.’s head and threatened her not to tell anyone.

In a second interview, K.R. verified what L.J. told investigators. K.R. was “extremely frightened,” she cried, and she asked several times about her safety, but continued to say she wanted to help.

K.R. told police Walker tried to get her to leave with him, but she pleaded with him not to take her because of her kids.

K.R. said Jones still was conscious at this time. He told Walker if he let K.R. go, they wouldn’t tell. Walker left.

She showed investigators text messages from Walker, who had sent some while she was the police department during her initial interview. She admitted to dating him years ago.

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Walker was found later in the parking lot of grocery store. During a police interview, Walker admitted to being at the party but denied shooting Jones, according to a criminal complaint.

If convicted of first-degree murder, Walker faces life in prison without parole.

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

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