Public Safety

Second man arrested in Tarrence Newman slaying

Authorities have made a second arrest in the death of 40-year-old Tarrence Newman, who was shot and killed in November 2017 in Cedar Rapids.

Donald R. Harris, 31, of Cedar Rapids, faces charges of first-degree murder, first-degree robbery and going armed with intent, according to the criminal complaint.

The complaint states Harris and 29-year-old Rayshaun Dion Friend, also of Cedar Rapids, went to Newman’s home on Nov. 12, 2017, to steal money and drugs. Harris shot Newman with a handgun during the robbery, the complaint said.

According to the complaint, Harris’ DNA was found at the scene and a witness also identified him as the shooter.

According to a search warrant, a female witness who was at Newman’s house the night of the shooting told police she was texting with Harris and Friend, and they told her they were coming over. She told them not to come but they showed up with an unknown man and forced their way into Newman’s house.

The woman told police she dated Harris in the past and has known Friend for several years.

The woman was in the kitchen doing dishes when Newman was shot and she went outside. Friend went after her and “forced” her into a vehicle, according to the search warrant. An unknown woman was driving the car, she told police.

They then picked up Harris and the other unknown man in the 1600 block of E Avenue NE, the woman said. During the ride, Harris told the driver that he didn’t find anything when he was in the house. The witness said she didn’t know what he was talking about.

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Harris admitted to shooting the victim in the neck, the woman told police. Harris told her he saw Newman “take his last breath.”

A warrant was issued for Harris’ arrest on July 9. The Cedar Rapids Police Department said Harris was located and arrested in Chicago in December and extradited to Linn County on Wednesday.

Court records show Harris made his initial appearance in Linn County District Court on Thursday morning where a judge set his bond at $2 million cash and appointed a public defender.

The night Newman was killed, police responded to his 1506 D Ave. NE home about 9:45 p.m. after receiving reports of a disturbance. When officers arrived, they found Newman dead on the front porch.

The autopsy showed Newman “suffered at least one gunshot wound,” according to the Cedar Rapids Police Department.

A witness identified Friend as a participant in the robbery, the complaint states.

After nearly eight months of investigation, Friend was arrested July 5 and booked into Linn County Jail.

Friend was charged with first-degree murder, first-degree robbery and going armed with intent. His trial is set to begin March 25.

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

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