Public Safety

Parents urge man who killed their son in Greene Square dispute to change his life

Troy Wilson was sentenced to 15 years for beating death in Greene Square park

Troy Wilson appears with public defender David Grinde before Sixth Judicial District Associate Judge Nick Scott while making his initial appearance via video in Linn County District Court in Cedar Rapids on Tuesday, July 3, 2018. Wilson was charged with second-degree murder in the death of Scott Dexter, 38, in Greene Square Park June 5, 2018. (Liz Martin/The Gazette)
Troy Wilson appears with public defender David Grinde before Sixth Judicial District Associate Judge Nick Scott while making his initial appearance via video in Linn County District Court in Cedar Rapids on Tuesday, July 3, 2018. Wilson was charged with second-degree murder in the death of Scott Dexter, 38, in Greene Square Park June 5, 2018. (Liz Martin/The Gazette)

CEDAR RAPIDS — A Mount Vernon man Wednesday told the man who was responsible for his stepson’s death that he knew there was no intent to kill.

“This was a situation where everyone involved was in the wrong place at the wrong time,” Dale Beeks, in his victim impact statement, said during a sentencing hearing for Troy Wilson, 47, of Cedar Rapids. “A woman made accusations. ... I know you made a huge mistake.”

Beeks said it was “brutal” at first to hear about the fatal assault of his stepson, Scott Dexter, 38, because nobody knew what happened June 5 in Greene Square park until days later.

CEDAR RAPIDS - A Cedar Rapids man pleaded guilty Friday to a lesser charge in the fatal assault of a man last summer in Greene Square.

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Leeann Beeks, Dexter’s mother, also said she didn’t have any animosity toward Wilson.

“I can’t help but love you because you’re my soul brother. ... But I don’t like what you did,” Leann Beeks said in her victim impact statement.

She asked him to be a role model while in prison and others, as well as himself. The mother also asked him to change his life and “don’t use your fists again.”

Wilson, originally charged with second-degree murder, pleaded last year to involuntary manslaughter as a habitual offender. During the plea hearing in December, he admitted to “intentionally” striking Dexter in the head while both were at the park June 5.

A criminal complaint shows Wilson left Dexter unconscious in a grassy area near the spiral sculpture on the Third Avenue SE side of the park.

Dexter was taken to the hospital but doctors found no sign of brain activity. He died shortly after being taken off life support June 9, according to court documents.

Witnesses in the park told police that a man, later identified as Wilson, hit Dexter in the head without provocation, according to the complaint.

Wilson initially denied involvement but eventually admitted he hit Dexter in the head after hearing him argue with another person, according to the complaint.

The state medical examiner ruled the death a homicide.

Dale Beeks previously told The Gazette he thought the plea was fair. He also said Dexter, whose organs were donated to four people, had dealt with mental health, drug and alcohol problems.

He tried to get his stepson to get help, but he didn’t follow through, Dale Beeks said after the plea hearing. He said his stepson was kindhearted and would rather “give stuff away to people than pay his own rent.”

Wilson, during the Wednesday’s hearing, said he made a mistake. “I wish I could take it back.”

Sixth Judicial District Judge Mary Chicchelly sentenced Wilson to up to 15 years in prison. He must serve a mandatory three years before being eligible for parole. Chicchelly also ran this sentence consecutively to a revocation of parole that Wilson faces in federal court stemming from a firearms conviction.

Wilson also was ordered to pay victim restitution of $150,000 to Dexter’s heirs, which is a required by law.

Following the deadly assault, the city made safety improvements to the park — banning alcohol and installing 24-hour surveillance cameras to help deter crime.

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

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