Initial Appearance This Morning for Man Accused in Cedar Rapids Homicide

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By Aaron Hepker

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa - Cedar Rapids police have arrested a Cedar Rapids man in connection with the murder of a person found stabbed in an alley last week.

A release from the department said police arrested Stephen Jerred Johnson, 39, 407 C. Ave. NW Apt. B. He's charged with first-degree murder, and is currently being held at the Linn County Correctional Center.

The arrest comes about one week after Clifton West, 34, was found in an alley between Fifth and Sixth avenues SE, suffering stab wounds. Police responded to the incident after being called to the 1500 block alley for a report of a person down around 11:16 p.m. on June 25.

Cedar Rapids Police Sgt. Cristy Hamblin said Monday the two men knew each other before the incident, but could not indicate what may have led up to the stabbing.

Court records show Johnson pleaded guilty to a charge of delivering a controlled substance, crack cocaine, in 1993. He received a deferred judgement in that case, which later led to a guilty verdict after he violated those terms.

Less than a year later, Johnson faced criminal charges following an apparent revenge spree in which he and another young man were accused of assaulting a woman at her Marion home and threatening her with a knife and gun in an incident that led to shots being fired at a separate residence. At the time, police believed the incidents stemmed from a fight earlier in the evening. Johnson was charged with first-degree burglary in that incident, but pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of second-degree burglary.

Though the investigation is ongoing, the release said police do not believe the public is in danger.

Johnson's initial appearance is scheduled for Tuesday morning at 10:30 a.m.
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