BREAKING NEWS

Second suspect charged in 2017 shooting death of Leland Harris

Lloyd Koger Jr.
Lloyd Koger Jr.
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CEDAR RAPIDS — Police have charged a second person in the 2017 shooting death of a 34-year-old Cedar Rapids man,

Lloyd Koger Jr., 42, of Cedar Rapids, faces charges of first-degree murder in the death of Leland Joseph Harris.

He also is charged with intimidation with a dangerous weapon, conspiracy to commit a forcible felony, accessory after the fact, felon in possession of a firearm and driving while barred.

He made his initial appearance in Linn County District Court on Wednesday morning, where a judge granted his request for a public defender.

Police believe Koger aided and abetted James Stephan Phillips, 19 — who police believe fatally shot Harris — by “driving the vehicle” occupied by Harris and Phillips,.

Additionally, the criminal complaint states Koger was in possession of a firearm and provided it to Phillips “with the intent the firearm be used to intimidate the victim.”

Phillips, who was 17 at the time, “discharged the firearm, while sitting in the back seat of the vehicle, striking and killing the victim,” the complaint states.

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Koger drove the vehicle out of town, attempted to clean the car and eventually sold it, police said.

Harris’ body was found at about 7:25 a.m. Nov. 22, 2017, in an alley in the 500 block of 10th Street SW.

Police said Harris likely died late Nov. 21.

According to an obituary, Harris was a graduate of Xavier High School who loved “dancing, music, art and people.”

Phillips was arrested in April and charged with first-degree murder, first-degree theft, conspiracy to commit a forcible felony and going armed with intent. His case is making its way through the court system.

A warrant was issued for Koger’s arrest July 26. Court records indicate Koger was in custody in Fayette County at the time. He has been transferred to the Linn County Jail in Cedar Rapids, where he is being held on a $1 million cash-only bond.

Court records show Koger’s criminal history includes convictions for theft, assault, harassment and possession of a controlled substance.

Harris’ slaying was one of six homicides in Cedar Rapids in 2017, and the third to occur in that month. The others:

Andrew Meeks Jr., 26, was fatally shot July 2. Quarzone E. Martin, 25, was sentenced to 50 years in prison after he being found guilty by a Linn County jury Dec. 27, of second-degree murder and other charges.

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Charles Flint, 60, of Cedar Rapids, died July 25 after being found injured July 23 in the 100 block of 11th Street SW. Police initially thought he had been struck while walking but later determined he had been assaulted. No one has been arrested in his death.

Kenneth L. Everett, 33, was fatally shot Sept. 16. Police said Everett and Gabriel C. Thomas were inside a bedroom at 383 17th St. SE when shots were fired into the home, killing Everett. No one has been arrested.

Tarrence Newman, 40, was shot at his home, 1506 D Ave. NE, the evening of Nov. 12. Police have made three arrests in the case.

— Heidi L.A. Stephens, 33, of Cedar Rapids, was shot Nov. 20. Police found her lying in a front yard in the 1500 block of Second Avenue SE. She died two days later. In May, Zackary D. Ildefonso, 24 at the time of the murder, was sentenced to 60 years in prison after pleading guilty to charges of attempted murder, voluntary manslaughter and first-degree burglary.

Comments: (319) 398-8238; kat.russell@thegazette.com

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