VINTON — A Vinton man recently was sentenced to 10 years in prison for firing at police last year when they were sent to check on his welfare.
Lyle A. Fowler II, 44, previously pleaded guilty in Benton County District Court to assault on persons engaged in certain occupations — police officers — and interference with official acts.
Fowler fired at officers sent to check on him about 7:54 p.m. at his home, 705 C Ave. in Vinton, on Sept. 7, 2018, according to court documents.
A man called 911, saying he received messages from his “Army sergeant” — Fowler — saying “I need help.” The man wasn’t sure if Fowler was suicidal or having medical issues, according to a search warrant affidavit.
When Vinton police Sgt. Benjamin Parmater arrived at Fowler’s home, he had a brief conversation with Fowler, who had a long gun and “displayed it” toward Parmater.
Parmater requested backup, and Officer Katlyn Schimerowski arrived, the warrant shows. Parmater backed away from the house to a safe distance before Fowler started firing an “unknown number” of rounds toward Parmater and Schimerowski.
The officers returned fire, but nobody was wounded.
After the gunfire, Fowler put down his gun and officers took him into custody, the warrant shows.
Vinton officers were legally justified in discharging their weapons during the incident, Benton County Attorney David Thompson found a few weeks after the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation completed its investigation.
Sixth Judicial District Judge Fae Hoover-Grinde sentenced Fowler on Sept. 27 to five years in prison on each charge and ran the sentences consecutively for a total of 10 years. He must serve a minimum of five years on the assault charge before being eligible for parole.
In a separate case, Fowler pleaded guilty Sept. 27 to two aggravated misdemeanor charges of telephone dissemination of obscene materials to minors.
Criminal complaints show Fowler sent sexually explicit photos of himself via text messaging to two girls, ages 16 and 17, in January 2017 and February 2018.
Fowler admitted that he knew the teens were under 18, according to court records.
Hoover-Grinde sentenced him during the hearing to two years in prison, but granted him a deferred judgment and gave him one year of unsupervised probation in accordance with the plea agreement. This means the conviction will be wiped from Fowler’s criminal record after one year if he completes probation without further violations.
Fowler, however, will be listed on the sex offender registry for 10 years. He was ordered to complete sex offender treatment.
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