Iowa City Man Pleads Guilty, Again

By Erin Jordan, Reporter

IOWA CITY, Iowa – An Iowa City man has reentered guilty pleas to charges he crashed his SUV through the front entrance of Scheels All Sports in Coralville and fired a handgun in his occupied apartment last December.

Joseph A. Moreno, 24, pleaded guilty Thursday to first-degree criminal mischief, a Class C felony, and intimidation with a dangerous weapon, a Class D felony. He also plans to enter written guilty pleas to reckless use of a firearm and drunken driving, his attorney said.

Moreno signed a plea deal with the Johnson County Attorney's Office saying his sentences would run concurrently, for a maximum of 10 years in prison. His sentencing is set for Jan. 6.

Moreno pleaded guilty to slightly different charges Oct. 25 in Johnson County District Court. He withdrew the guilty pleas earlier this week because of confusion over whether the intimidation charge was a forcible felony that could increase Moreno's prison term.

Assistant Johnson County Attorney Jude Pannell offered to let Moreno plead guilty to a lower-level intimidation charge not considered a forcible felony.

Moreno is accused of firing his handgun inside his apartment Dec. 29, driving drunk to Scheels and ramming his 2002 Ford Explorer through the glass doors. Police allege Moreno smashed a glass case containing ammunition and firearms before "dry firing" several weapons.

Police responded around 2:30 a.m. Dec. 29 to an alarm at Scheels in Coral Ridge Mall. Upon arrival, they found the SUV crashed through the glass doors. Officers heard what may have been a gunshot, which led them to believe the person inside could be armed. It took officers several hours to locate Moreno and take him safely into custody. More than a dozen law enforcement agencies responded to the incident.
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