Public Safety

Former Fairfax man waives extradition to Arkansas, where he is charged with capital murder

Jacovan Bush was convicted in 2008 Cedar Rapids fatal shooting

Jacovan Bush
Jacovan Bush

CEDAR RAPIDS — A former Fairfax man, who was convicted of lesser charges in a 2008 fatal shooting of a Cedar Rapids teen, waived extradition Wednesday to Arkansas, where he faces a capital murder charge.

Jacovan D. Bush, 31, fought extradition and demanded a governor’s warrant in January after his arrest in Cedar Rapids.

He is charged in Arkansas with capital murder and aggravated robbery in a fatal shooting of a man in Little Rock in February 2018.

Bush was paroled in the Iowa case in 2017.

First Assistant Linn County Attorney Nick Maybanks dismissed the first fugitive information on Bush earlier this week because the governor’s warrant hadn’t arrived by the 90-day deadline.

Arkansas officials said they sent the requisite paperwork to Gov. Kim Reynolds for her to extradite Bush to Little Rock, but her office said it was never received.

Bush then decided to waive extradition.

He is accused of shooting Devon Howard, 23, who was found lying on the floor of his Little Rock apartment Feb. 15, 2018, according to a Little Rock police report. He died at the scene.

Witnesses told investigators someone had knocked on Howard’s door. When he answered, two men forced their way inside and began struggling with him, according to the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette newspaper. The witnesses scattered into other rooms and heard a gunshot. When they returned to the living room, the men were gone and Howard was lying on the floor, police said.

Bush was apprehended Jan. 23 in Cedar Rapids by the U.S. Marshals Service of the Northern District after they saw him leave a residence in the 1800 block of B Avenue NE, Deputy U.S. Marshal Nicholas Bonifazi said.

Marshals, along with police officers, conducted a traffic stop after 2 p.m. in the 5100 block of First Avenue NE and arrested Bush without incident.

Officer Eric Barnes, spokesman for Little Rock police, told the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette that Bush had moved to Cedar Rapids shortly after the shooting.

Bush was sentenced to prison in 2010 for voluntary manslaughter, intimidation with a dangerous weapon and going armed with intent in the April 15, 2008, fatal shooting of Thomas Horvath, 19, who was shot in the abdomen and head in the parking lot of the Raintree Apartments in southwest Cedar Rapids. He died the next day.

Bush was convicted of first-degree murder in 2008, but the verdict was overturned on appeal due to inadmissible evidence and a new trial ordered. He pleased to the amended charges and became eligible for parole after serving four years in prison. He completed his parole Aug. 28, 2019.

During the plea hearing in 2013, Bush admitted to shooting Horvath during a fist fight between his friends and Horvath’s friends in the Raintree parking lot. The fight started over a busted car light.

Bush, in the plea, admitted to bringing a gun and firing into the crowd. He threatened Horvath and said he intended for one of the shots to hit him.

Bush was convicted of first-degree murder in November 2008, but on appeal in 2012, he was granted a new trial based on inadmissible evidence. The prosecution called three witnesses at trial who identified Bush as the shooter in statements to police after the incident, but they recanted those statements before trial.

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The plea was offered because the prosecution wouldn’t be allowed to call those witnesses at the retrial, which would hurt the case, Linn County Attorney Jerry Vander Sanden said at the time.

Vander Sanden said he discussed the matter with Horvath’s family and explained the risks of going to trial again before entering into the plea deal.

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

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