Trial Set for One Man Connected with Fatal Officer-Invovled Shooting Near Iowa City

By Vanessa Miller, Reporter

Caption: Johnson County Attourney Janet Lyness looks over the scene of an officer involved shooting with investigators from the Iowa Department of Criminal Investigation at the Breckenridge Estates mobile home park Thursday, Aug. 16, 2012 just east of Iowa City. (Brian Ray/The Gazette-KCRG)

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By Liz Blood

JOHNSON COUNTY, Iowa - A November trial has been scheduled for one of three men arrested following a Johnson County narcotics investigation gone awry that resulted in the officer-involved shooting death of 24-year-old Ivan Hardemon.

Norman Dudley, 20, is scheduled to be tried Nov. 6 on suspicion of a felony controlled substance violation that authorities say took place days before the fatal shooting on Aug. 16 just east of the Iowa City limits.

Dudley and John Mulbah, 22, have not been charged in connection with the fatal shooting that erupted during a drug deal at the Breckenridge Estates mobile home park involving undercover Division of Narcotics Enforcement agents.

Authorities, however, have said they believe both men were present at the shooting, and Johnson County Attorney Janet Lyness said they could face additional charges.

Dudley pleaded not guilty Friday after being officially charged with the controlled substance violation last week. Mulbah, who was arrested the day after the fatal shooting following a four-hour standoff with police at his apartment, also was charged last week with a substance violation stemming from a previous incident.

He was scheduled to enter a plea on Friday, although online court information was not updated on Friday evening.

Demarco Dudley, 22, is the only man who has been arrested and charged so far in connection with the fatal shooting. He faces a first-degree robbery charge on allegations that he, along with another man, emerged from a backroom with a rod or a club during a drug transaction on Aug. 16 and threatened the undercover officers.

Dudley is scheduled to enter a plea on Sept. 7.

Authorities are continuing to investigate the officer-involved shooting at Trailer C7 in the Breckenridge Estates mobile home park, although Lyness said her office has determined the shooting officer used reasonable force.

According to Lyness, two state narcotics agents showed up to the trailer about 7 p.m. Aug. 16, and Hardemon brought them inside. Once inside, two men emerged from the back, their faces covered and holding clubs or rods, according to Lyness.

Hardemon pulled a handgun, she reported, and asked the masked men to pat down the officers. Agent Daniel Stepleton had a gun tucked behind his back, and when one of the masked men discovered it, Stepleton leaned against the wall to keep the man from removing it, according to Lyness.

Hardemon aimed his gun at Stepleton’s head, touching it to the barrel of his gun, Lyness reported, and so Stepleton tried to push away Hardemon’s gun while reaching back for his own. He fired four shots, Lyness reported, hitting Hardemon in the chest and arm.

Demarco Dudley also was shot twice in the arm.

Hardemon and the other men ran from the trailer and fled across the street to an empty lot where Hardemon collapsed and died, according to Lyness. Dudley made it away from the mobile home park and was treated for his injuries at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics.

Demarco Dudley is being held at the Johnson County Jail on a $100,000 bond. Mulbah is being held on a $50,000 and Norman Dudley is being held on a $25,000 bond.

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