CHRIS BAGLEY

Cedar Rapids man will take plea in deadly assault of Chris Bagley

Drew Wagner will plead June 22; Drew Blahnik's trial reset to February

Investigators on March 1, 2019, search for Chris Bagley's body at 4069 Soutter Ave. SE in Cedar Rapids. One of the men a
Investigators on March 1, 2019, search for Chris Bagley’s body at 4069 Soutter Ave. SE in Cedar Rapids. One of the men accused in Bagley’s death, Drew Wagner, 34, of Cedar Rapids, will enter a plea in the case June 22 in Linn County District Court, according to court documents. (Liz Martin/The Gazette)
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CEDAR RAPIDS — A Cedar Rapids man, who started a fight with Chris Bagley and held him down while another man stabbed him to death, will plead next month for his part in the deadly assault.

Drew Wagner, 34, charged with first-degree murder, abuse of a corpse and obstruction of prosecution, will plead June 22 in Linn County District Court, according to a court document filed Tuesday.

Assistant Linn County Attorney Monica Slaughter said she couldn’t comment on the plea agreement at this time. She did say the plea hearing would be in person.

It is likely Wagner will plead to lesser or amended charges.

Stewart Bagley, Chris Bagley’s father, said Tuesday that Slaughter talked to him and his family about the plea. He couldn’t comment on the details but said his family agreed to it.

Drew Blahnik, 33, of Cedar Rapids, is also charged with first-degree murder, abused of a corpse and obstruction of justice.

His trial was reset Monday to Feb. 15, but that date could change again because he is asking the court to move his trial out of Linn County. If convicted of first-degree murder, Blahnik faces life in prison without parole.

Paul Hoff, 40, of Cedar Rapids, is also charged with abuse of a corpse and obstruction of prosecution in connection with Bagley’s death. His trial is set for Aug. 17. He is already serving a federal sentence for firearms and drugs.

Stories differed

An unsealed search warrant obtained by The Gazette on Monday revealed more details of the Dec. 14, 2018, attack on Bagley 31, of Walker. And it revealed how the three men charged in connection with his death told different versions of what happened.

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Bagley, a husband and father of two, left home Dec. 13, 2018, with a woman his wife didn’t know and did not return. Authorities found his body buried in the yard at 4069 Soutter Ave. SE, where Wagner had been living, on March 1, 2019.

At a federal court hearing in April 2019, authorities said Bagley was killed during a fight over drug robberies from Andrew Shaw, 31, of Cedar Rapids, a convicted large-scale marijuana trafficker, who is serving up to eight years in federal prison.

Shaw ha not been charged in Bagley’s death.

Bagley, Blahnik, Wagner and Hoff sold drugs for Shaw, according to testimony.

Hoff, according to the search warrant affidavit, said Bagley came to his trailer, 7100 Mount Vernon Rd., Lot 26, Dec. 14, 2018, and then Wagner and Blahnik came over when they learned Bagley was there.

Wagner and Bagley got into a “heated discussion” about Bagley causing issues with a marijuana business involving Wagner and Shaw, according to the affidavit.

Wagner thought Bagley had been stealing drugs and money from different locations belonging to him or Shaw. Hoff said the argument started “calm” but escalated into a fight between Wagner and Bagley.

Blahnik was sitting on a stool watching until the two began fighting, and he pulled a knife from his waistband and stabbed Bagley once in his side. Wagner was behind Bagley with his arms around him and took him down on the floor of the trailer.

Blahnik tried to stab at Bagley again but cut Wagner in the hand, Hoff said. Blahnik then grabbed Bagley by his hair and stabbed him at least two more times in the neck, causing his death.

They wrapped Bagley’s body in a tarp and removed it from the trailer through a back window into the bed of Wagner’s truck, Hoff told investigators.

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Hoff said Blahnik and Wagner took the body to bury in Wagner’s yard, according to the affidavit.

Wagner, in his interview with investigators, said Blahnik asked Wagner to take him to the trailer because Bagley owed Blahnik money.

Wagner admitted he started arguing with Bagley over drug and money robberies, which led to a fight.

While they were “wrestling,” Wagner said he saw a firearm in Bagley’s waistband. Then, “out of nowhere,” Blahnik began to stab Bagley.

Blahnik, in his interview, said the fight was over a gun that one had bought from the other and money was owed. Wagner tried to give Bagley a “chance out” of the dispute, but Bagley pushed him and the fight started.

Wagner then yelled “gun, gun,” as Bagley was reaching toward his back pocket, Blahnik told investigators. He “protected” Wagner and stabbed Bagley because Bagley had reached for a gun.

Federal investigators last year said Hoff told them there wasn’t a gun.

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

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