The Des Moines Register from Des Moines, Iowa on July 13, 1982 · Page 5
Get access to this page with a Free Trial

A Publisher Extra Newspaper

The Des Moines Register from Des Moines, Iowa · Page 5

Des Moines, Iowa
Issue Date:
Tuesday, July 13, 1982
Page 5
Start Free Trial

Lovers get life in murder of woman's By DANIEL CAM mate Sherryl Soodgrass and her lover. Michael Hood, wert sentenced la Ottumwa Moodjy to lift la prtaoo without parol for the murder of her huiband, Gregory. Tit two were charted with shooting Gregory Soodgrass to death la his mat Ottumwa kom lut September. Hood. 11 of Bolivar. Mo and Soodgrass, U. of Ottumwa wart found guilty of flrst-defn murder after a 10-day trial la May. Following a bearing Monday, District Judgt Phillip CoUett refused to order a sew trial and sentenced both defendants to th lift terms required by Iowa law la first-degree murder case. Soodgrasa, who wept wbea tba sentence was pronounced, will be taken to tb Women's Reformatory at kociwcu city to begin aerrlsg tbe aenteoc. Her three children were la tbe courtroom during the proceed ings. Hood, wbo, Lie Soodgrass, bas been beld without bond since being found guilty, will be transferred to the Men's Reformatory at Aaamosa for processing and eventual Imprison ment. Hood wort leg shackles la court Monday and tu handcuffed as be left the courtroom. tie became combative as be was led out, and was beard to say to his attorney after be was sentenced, "111 get even." . Soodgrasa bad testified at the trial that she was la the bedroom afraid to come out aa Hood shot Gregory Soodgrasa. But Hood testified that Sherryl shot her husband. The pair agreed, though, that they bad gone to the Snodgraas home to move her sod her childrea out and bad taken several weapons with them. Sherryl Soodgrass planned to divorce her husband. After the shooting, Snodgrass' body was put In the trunk of Hood's car and taken to Bolivar, where it was found floating la a pond. After Mondayi court proceedings, Sherryl Snodgrass's attorney, Terry Denefe of Ottumwa, Mid be will file notice of appeal of the conviction. Omaha driver shot to death COUNCIL BLUFFS, LL (AP) - A 23-year-old Omaha man was shot to death Sunday, apparently following an argument with two motorcyclists, Council Bluffs police said. Officers said John P. Adams Jr. became involved in an argument In Omaha with two motorcycle riders shortly after midnight The altercation apparently continued In Council Bluffs. A family member said the argument stemmed from the motorcyclists' cutting in front of a car Adams was driving. Police said that after the argument, Adams got out of his car and began chasing the motorcyclists on foot with a baseball bat. He was shot once In the head about 1:20 a.m. Police said the suspects, in their early 20s, were riding orange-colored motorcycles. No arrests have been made. Convicted 4 years ago, man hasn't entered prison By PETER RACHER A Missouri man convicted of a burglary in Des Moines more than four years ago has yet to begin serving bis 10-year prison term, even though bis appeal to the Iowa Supreme Court was decided months ago. James Clifford Newman was permitted last month to post f,000 bond in lied of going to prison while he appeals his conviction for the second time. Ron Wheeler, chief assistant Polk County attorney, said Monday he never bas heard of bond being permitted during a second round of appeals. Wheeler said be is considering challenging the delay In Newman's incarceration. Wheeler noted another twist in the case: The bonding company that guaranteed Newman's next scheduled appearance in court is teetering on the brink of bankruptcy. That means the company may not be able to come up with $5,000 if Newman fails to appear. It also means other criminal defendants In Iowa wbo have bonds written by the Cottonbelt Insurance Co. may be required to appear in court to post new bonds. Marginal Iowa Business State officials said Monday they didn't know how many defendants would be affected by Cottonbelt's near-insolvency, although it appears the company does only marginal business in Iowa. Newman, 37, of Independence, Mo., was arrested with two others in June 1978 for allegedly breaking into a coin-changing machine at Budget . Wash, a coin-operated laundry on Des i Moines' south side. ! The men fled from the scene after police arrived, and one officer wbo said the men had tried to run him down fired a shot at their car. Newman was charged with 'second-degree burglary. He posted a $5,000 appearance bond, staying out of Jail pending trial Then, when tbe YAYHCOWtS t .V i. w- V Welcome party for new railroad Officials aad specUtars gather ta froet ef the former Reck Itlaod Railnkad depot la dowaiewa Dee Melaes Moaday as the Iowa Railroad Cos trsla approaches a wricemiag baaaer. The new railroad b new operating oa what Continued rom Page One state' to act Bryaa, you represent aa organization that bas decided on Its own, without a subsidy from the state, that you can do something." Whipple used the occasion of Monday's ceremony to put in a not- too-subtle plug for businesses to use bis railroad: "The future of our railroad and the future of tbe east-west Une probably binges on our success at converting these prospects Into actual shippers. Wt need your business, and your business will make this railroad work." A number, of large operations including grain elevators, the Maytag Co. at Newton, the Rolscreen Co. at Pella. and the Eagle grocery warehouse across from Davenport in Milan, DL are located along Iowa Railroad's tracks. But a number of shippers turned to trucks after the Rock Island's collapse, Whipple said, and his job now is to persuade them to give Iowa Railroad a chance. In spite of the recession, which bas reduced business for many railroads. Whipple has said, "Our operations are now stabilized to the point that we are breaking evea As the economy improves, we should do all right" Tbe long-term future for Iowa Railroad Is uncertain, however, because tbe Rock Island's bankruptcy trustee is under court order to sell or dismantle the Rock's tracks, Including the east-west line through central Iowa. Whipple has said he doubts his company, alone, would ever have the financial muscle to buy the tracks. The railroad is owned by Whipple, a former official of tbe Southern case ended in a guilty verdict in January 1980, Newman appealed to the Iowa Supreme Court and posted a $5,000 appeal bond. That kept him out of prison pending his appeal The Supreme Court upheld the conviction in December 1981, and the next month ordered Newman's sentence to begin. But William Kutmus, Newman's attorney, filed a new appeal on June 11 In Polk County District Court, and District Judge Rod Ryan allowed Newman to post $5,000 bond pending the outcome of the latest round. No Right to Bail Wheeler said permitting bail for defendants in such circumstances could lead to convicts postponing their sentences indefinitely. Wheeler said preliminary legal research showed that defendants do not have a right to bail in post-conviction relief, hearings. Ryan was attending tbe National Judicial College ill Reno, Nev., on' Monday and could not be reached for comment Another state official, however,, said the most important part of Newman's story is that bis bond was guaranteed by Cottonbelt which went into receivership on June 15. .-Iowa Insurance Commissioner Bruce Foudree said be was "amazed" that state officials in Tennessee, where the company is based, had not notified him sooner of Cottonbelt's shakey financial status. License Revoked Foudree said he revoked Cotton- belt's bail-bonding license on Friday and was sending notices to court officials across the state that Cotton-1 belt bonds now are worthless. Foudree said he did not know how many Cottonbelt bonds have been posted in Iowa courts. Foudree said1 tbe company collected $7 million in premiums in 1911, although only, about $5,000 of that came from Iowa! customers. ca iv sji ft 1 .. mi. f Ml: t 1 T " W . '.it " V . i - m . . -ar . i , J t i IOWA . 'VT"''.Tr y.:. - v.-f ILLINOIS The above map shews the rate of the aew lewa Rain-tad Ce. across Iowa ea the former east-west line of the haakrspt Rock blaad Railroad. Pacific and Western Pacific railroads, and three other investors. wbom be bas declined to Identify. It began operations last fall on the Rnck Island's line between Council Bluffs and Stuart, then extended eastward to Davenport at the beginning of June. Tbe company now operates 425 miles of track in Iowa and Illinois and has about SO employees most of them former Rock Island workers, Whipple said, who probably would be unemployed if it. weren't for bis railroad. Whipple said that an independent promoter had approached him about organizing the Iowa football excur sions. He did not identify tbe promoter, and be said that the special trains are not a certainty. The Rock and later a Moline, 111., travel agent, William Butterworth, operated such football trains until about 10 years ago. W.D.M. chief keeps his job By JIM HEALEY SMI WrfNT West Des Moines Police Chief Orval Cooney has been told by city officials to go home at the end of his shift each day and to stay there unless he's summoned by other officers. But Cooney will keep his Job. Mayor George Mills announced the action Monday as the City Council considered the results of an investiga tion by labor lawyer Charles McManigal of Mason City, wbo was hired by the council to look into complaints about Cooney lodged by 14 of tbe department's 20 patrol officers. Mills said complaints by officers that Cooney was spying on them at night "seemed to be the most serious" allegation. He said Cooney "was on the streets going down alleys," but "he wasn't spying or checking up on the men." Mills said, "We talked to Chief Cooney about this and he's been told to work only from 8 to 4:30 or 5, whatever the normal hours of his department are, then go to his residence and stay there unless he's called out" At tbe council meeting, Mills announced that letters of reprimand would be placed in the personnel files of 10 officers wbo were quoted by name in newspaper articles in February. But Mills said there would not be a shakeup in the department "Orval Cooney will remain as chief. All members will remain intact. There will be no one discharged, and we don't anticipate any firings in the future." Afterwards, some of the officers said they weren't happy with the letters of reprimand. And, they said, the report by McManigal was too short and did not discuss the specific complaints and allegations. In the three-page report. McManigal says the officers' charge that Cooney has a drinking problem seems unfounded: "Based upon a preponderance of the evidence, I find that Chief Cooney does hot have a drinking problem." But McManigal sides with the complaining officers on another matter "I find that there are serious administrative problems and deficiencies that exist and need to bej corrected." Mills said the city has new rules and procedures to cure that problem, and the officers said afterwards they are pleased with that "ft ir A was the east-weit matalloe of the Rock Itlaad Railroad frcra Coeacll Staffs to Bureau, IIL For shippers along the 374-mile roete, tt is the first time la two yesrs tht they will kave rail service available. RtOltTt MA ST ITEVf PtGLOW Lucas missing for month up to Dexter shooting By KEN FUSON A Louisiana man charged with first-degree murder In Saturday night's fatal shooting In a Dexter tavern had been missing from bis home for about a month and apparently was drifting aimlessly through out the country. Dallas County an thoiities said Monday. Dallas County Sheriffs Sgt Ray Presti said Monday that Marvin Lucas, 46, of Baton Rouge "disap peared from home four weeks ago, and nobody even knew where be was at" Lucas is charged with murder in the shooting death of James G. Ludwlck, 29, of Dexter, wbo died from a single gunshot wound in the head. Authorities allege that Lucas shot Ludwick and two other men with a .357-caliber Magnum pistol Saturday night in the Dexter Tavern after an argument erupted in the bar. Steven Christiansen, 26, and Martin Vote, 24, both of Dexter, remained in Des Moines hospitals Monday night. Since the shooting, authorities had been baffled over what a Louisiana man was doing in an Iowa town of 650 residents. "At this point we don't have any idea why he was there," said John Powell, an assistant Dallas County attorney. But Presti said information received from Louisiana officials Monday afternoon has helped in piecing together a profile of Lucas, who was listed in serious but stable condition at Mercy Hospital Medical Center in Des Moines, where he remained under guard. A hospital spokesman said Lucas received broken facial bones, an ear injury, broken ribs, a possible fractured arm, internal injuries, and possible kidney injuries, which authorities said were received when patrons in the tavern beat him and held him until police arrived. Presti said Lucas was an electrical engineer for a Louisiana construction firm that builds refineries. Lucas was in the process of being divorced at the time he disappeared, Presti said. Since then, Presti said, I .ocas ap parently has been roaming around tbe country. He said Lucas had been to North Carolina, Georgia, Missouri and "all the states in-between" before arriving In Iowa. "It just looked like he was on vacation," Presti said. 4 die in plunge rom cable car INNSBRUCK, AUSTRIA (AP) - The door of a cable car popped open over an Alpine valley and four people fell 230 feet to their deaths, the Austrian Press Agency reported Monday. Tbe agency said the four ail Austrians boarded the freight cable car Sunday for a descent from a mountain near here. As the car passed one of the support posts at the beginning of a steep Incline, the door sprang open, spilling the passengers Into a ravine, the agency said. Authorities said the cable car was used for freight only, and passengers were forbidden. TW.Jytyl3.tMI MOMTf PMOIO CHUCK AMOff ftftOM !'ty VV' jX Sack-masked gunman robs savings office By JAMES NEY HojhsW tssHt WtHvf A gunman wearing a mkk fashioned from a paper sack robbed a savings and loan office In Council Bluffs Monday morning. Jim Watson, vice president and security officer at First Federal Savings and Loan Association, said the gunman got "a small amount of money." He said it was more than a thousand dollars, but declined to be more specific. The thief startled tbe three employees at the west side office about 9:15 a.m. when be walked in with the crude mask, carrying a long. blue-steel handgun. The man walked behind one of two teller windows and demanded cash. Watson said the robber asked the location of the "bait money," marked currency that trips an alarm and automatic camera when It is removed from its "bill trap." He told the teller to give him the other currency. No shots were fired, and no one was injured. . An FBI spokesman said tbe bandit '"was calm and deliberate throughout." Witnesses said tbe man stood with tbe gun pointed downward part of the time be was in the savings and loan office, tbe spokesman said. "He got In more of a hurry when several customers waited In," Watson said. He said the gunman seemed to be knowledgeable about financial institutions. The gunman put the cash in a brown gym bag and calmly left the scene, the FBI spokesman said. Witness said the robber removed the paper sack wbich bad boles cut for his eyes and nose when he left tbe building, folded the sack, and placed it in the gym bag. He then disappeared behind a commercial storage building a half block away where, authorities said, he may have had a getaway car parked. Employees set off the robbery alarm after the man's departure. . , I 7i I I ... i I f r 1 ' W I tun, -jui-' - ' Wildlife official calls bear incident Continued from Page One they'll scare pretty easily. But he just kept on coming." That s when Allison said be shot the bear with a rifle the men look along for protection. "We always take a gun along but never even loaded it before. But the guys who were in the cabin before us said they'd seen a couple bears, so we decided to load it It really was funny, because we couldn't even figure how to get the thing loaded at first" he said. Allison said none of the fishermen felt confident enough to walk outside into the darkness to see if the bear was dead, so they stayed awake for the rest of the night "I walked out at first light and it was on the ground dead, uot mm right between the eyes, which really wasn't all that great of a shot since I was only about five feet away from him when I pulled the trigger," said Allison. He said the men had no idea what caused the apparent attack since no garbage nor fish remains were left near the cabin. They took tbe bear carcass about a mile away across the lake and dumped it along with their garbage. The next night one of the men thought be saw two more bears near the cabin. "Tbe next day we strung fish line all around tbe cabin and tied bottles and cans to it so we'd bear if another PES MOINES REGISTER 3A Court hears press freedom arguments By ELIZABETH BALLANTLNE The Iowa Supremo Court was told Monday that a Polk County judge's order sending a news reporter to jail for decttaiog to answer questions; about a news story1 tbreateas press' frerdom In Iowa. A 5-justice paoel of the court beard! argamtots on; whether Roman i s,-" Nck" Lamberto. a ". srT reporter for Tbe dvV I Des Moines mc Remter. should iammto have to answer questions in a civil lawsuit la Henry County about which Lamberto wrote a news story la 1977. Polk County District Judge Thomas Bown bas ordered Lamberto to jail for contempt after Lamberto, 65, declined to tuner questions from one of the lawyers in the lawsuit Edward Dailey, attorney for Dan E. McAllister of Mount Pleasant, argued that Lamberto's tortimony is needed in a 14 2 million Invasion of privacy lawsuit filed by Donald Cartin agsiost McAllister Dsiley ssid Gartin said be discussed tbe suit with Lamberto before It tu filed, and Dalley wants to know what Cartin said snout it. Information about Gartin's frame of nlnd could be critical in reducing possible damages against McAllister, Daitey said. "Limited Protection" "It's not for Mr. Lamberto to file an affidavit saying, 'We have no relevant material.' If f very witness is allowed to file an affidavit then our judicial system is shot. Mr. Lamberto is no different from anybody else except for limited protection applied to news reporters." Barbara Mack, assistant counsel to the Des Moines Register and Tribune Company, said Djiley's attempt to get information from Lamberto Is "a fishing expedition" In violation of the constitutionally protected freedom of the press. "If McAllister Is allowed to prevail, it will mean that a news reporter In this state cannot write a truthful news account about the filing of a lawsuit without fear of being sucked Into the vortex of a lawsuit, without fear of seeing bis work product and confidential notes spread open to public view and without fear of being jailed tor refusing to divulge confi dential inlormation," Mack had argued in court papers. She said Bown's order was illegal because McAllister had not shown a "compelling state interest" to override the general public interest in protecting freedom of the press. She also said McAllister did not pass the three-part test the Iowa Supreme Court established in 1977 for questioning reporters in court proceedings. Tbe court bad said reporters may be required to testify only when other means of gaining information have been exhausted, if it is "necessary or critical" to the case, and if the lawsuit is not "patently frivolous." Bown had ruled that McAllister had satisfied the test. During Arguments "Can you point to anything in the news article about the filing of the lawsuit that you want to know more about?" Chief Justice W. Ward Rey- noldson asked Dailey during the arguments Monday. "I just want to know what Mr. Gartin told him," said Dailey. "There's no revelation of a confiden tial source." The court's opinion is expected in 30 to 90 days. Lamberto, meanwhile, remains tree pending the court s decision. unusual one came. To tell you the truth, I didn't sleep all that well tbe next night either," Allison said. "Tbe whole thing really spooked us because usually these things will run away as soon as they see you. But when we yelled and made noise and he kept on coming it was pretty terrifying. Can you imagine if that bear had gotten inside the cabin? "Believe me, we would have been out that front door in a real hurry. We just wish we knew why it happened," be said. Wayne Stack, a wildlife management officer in Kenora, Ontario, about 50 miles from where the incident occurred, said such attacks are unusual. In the early spring before berries are evident bears will move in on civilization looking for food, be said. "They've been into a few garbage cans and knocking barbecues over this year, and we think that's because of a late spring," Stack said. "It's a rare, rare occasion when they attack a human. When they first come out in tbe spring they eat grass and tender roots and then go to berries when they come out They'll eat basically anything. Only rarely will a bear attack and maul a human." The group of Iowans returned home last week with plans to visit tbe same cabin next year. "Oh sure, we'U go back. But I'd like to think this, won't ever happen t again," Allison said. 7 T

Clipped articles people have found on this page

Get access to

  • The largest online newspaper archive
  • 22,600+ newspapers from the 1700s–2000s
  • Millions of additional pages added every month

Publisher Extra® Newspapers

  • Exclusive licensed content from premium publishers like the The Des Moines Register
  • Archives through last month
  • Continually updated

Try it free