Public Safety

Drug robbery turned fatal stabbing earns Cedar Rapids man 20 years

Must serve 7 years before being eligible for parole

CEDAR RAPIDS — A judge sentenced a Cedar Rapids man to 20 years in prison Wednesday for a drug deal that turned into a robbery and fatal stabbing in 2016.

Sixth Judicial District Judge Mary Chicchelly sentenced 20-year-old Darius T. Alexander to 10 years for aiding and abetting second-degree robbery and 10 years for aiding and abetting voluntary manslaughter. She ran the sentences consecutively for a total of 20 years.

Chicchelly said Alexander will have to serve seven years on the robbery sentence before being eligible for parole.

Alexander, during a plea hearing earlier this month, admitted he planned to rob Christopher Arteberry Jr., 18, of marijuana on Sept. 30, 2016. He also admitted to supplying the knife that was used to kill Arteberry.

Chicchelly also ordered Alexander to pay $150,000 in victim’s restitution to Arteberry’s sister in accordance with Iowa law. Arteberry’s sister didn’t attend the sentencing.

No victim impact statements were submitted to the court or read in court during the hearing.

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

The plea agreement also shows Alexander waived his right to a direct appeal and cannot file for post-conviction relief based on ineffective counsel. He also waives the right to claim innocence of these charges on appeal, according to court documents.

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First Assistant Linn County Attorney Nick Maybanks, after the hearing, said he couldn’t provide more details on the reasons for the plea until Emily N. Young, 21, of Iowa City, who also pleaded in the case, is sentenced on Dec. 19.

Alexander and Young met Arteberry at 6710 College Park Court SW, an apartment complex about a mile from the Kirkwood Community College campus on Sept. 30, 2016, according to a criminal complaint.

The drug deal turned into a 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.

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.

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

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