Public Safety

Cedar Rapids man pleads guilty in drug robbery turned fatal stabbing from 2016

Darius Alexander faces up to 20 years in prison

Emily Young and Darius Alexander.
Emily Young and Darius Alexander.

CEDAR RAPIDS — A Cedar Rapids man pleaded guilty Friday to lesser charges in the fatal stabbing of a man during a scheduled drug deal that turned into a robbery nearly two years ago.   

Darius T. Alexander, now 20, pleaded guilty in Linn County District Court to aiding and abetting voluntary manslaughter and aiding and abetting second-degree robbery. During the plea hearing, Alexander admitted he planned to rob and did rob Christopher Arteberry Jr., 18, of marijuana Sept. 30, 2016. He also admitted to supplying the knife that was used to kill Arteberry.  

Sixth Judicial District Judge Mary Chicchelly told Alexander that he faced up to 20 years in prison on both charges and will have to serve a mandatory minimum sentence of seven years on the robbery charge before being eligible for parole.   

Chicchelly also told Alexander that in accordance with the plea agreement he waives his right to a direct appeal and cannot file a post-conviction relief based on ineffective counsel. He also waives the right to claim innocence of these charges on appeal, according to plea.

Alexander said he understood the conditions of the plea.

Alexander and Emily N. Young, 21, of Iowa City, also convicted in this case, met Arteberry at 6710 College Park Court SW, an apartment complex about a mile from the Kirkwood Community College campus, according to a criminal complaint.  

The drug deal turned into robbery inside a vehicle about 2:09 a.m., outside of the complex, authorities said. During the robbery, Arteberry was stabbed in the chest.    

A complaint shows Young and Alexander escaped from the area and Arteberry “stumbled to a nearby apartment of some friends where he collapsed,” according to the complaint. He died about an hour later.

A neighbor, Tarrah Daleness, told The Gazette after the incident that she saw Arteberry outside her window, bloody and carrying a kitchen knife. When she opened her door, Arteberry collapsed on her floor. Daleness said Arteberry had a deep cut on the side of his chest.

Alexander was originally charged with first-degree murder, first-degree robbery and conspiracy to commit a forcible felony.

Chicchelly also ordered Alexander to pay $150,000 to Arteberry’s estate and he will also have to pay up to $2,000 in fines and other court costs. Alexander’s sentencing is scheduled for Nov. 28.

Young pleaded in March to two felony counts of perjury and accessory after the fact, an aggravated misdemeanor. She faces up to 12 years in prison and will be sentenced Dec. 19. 

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

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