County Attorney: No Charging Decision Yet on Fatal Altercation


By Aaron Hepker

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa - Linn County Attorney Jerry Vander Sanden said he’s not prepared to make a charging decision in a case involving a Cedar Rapids man who died after he was in an altercation earlier this month.

Vander Sanden said he won’t know if the other man involved in the fight that preceded 32-year-old Justin Carey’s death on June 6 will face charges until he has received a report from the medical examiner’s office.

“No charging decision has been made at this point,” he said Friday. “The Cedar Rapids Police Department did refer to our office the extent of their investigation. However, the decedent was referred to the state medical examiner’s office for an autopsy to determine the medical cause of death. We have yet to receive the official report.”

Police said Carey was involved in an altercation at Red’s Public House, 112 Second St. SE on June 6. When officers arrived at the downtown restaurant at 1:27 a.m., they found Carey unconscious in the street.

Carey was transported to the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, where he was kept on life support so that his organs could be donated.

All police have said about the investigation is that Carey and the other man had a disagreement that led to a physical confrontation. Cedar Rapids Police Sgt. Cristy Hamblin said investigators know who the other man is, but said it is possible that no charges are filed in the case.

Born in Peru, Ill., Carey was a 1998 graduate of Kennedy High School in Cedar Rapids. In 2011, he graduated from Mount Mercy in 2011 with a double major in finance and accounting. At the time of his death, Carey was a financial advisor for Securian Advisors in Hiawatha and was engaged to be married.

Vander Sanden said the medical examiner’s office will typically expedite autopsies when the results will impact a potential criminal case, but still said it would be a matter of weeks before the report is complete.
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