Last of Four Arrested for Roundtree Murder Makes Initial Appearance

By Christy Aumer, Reporter

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa – Reginald Williams said he just wants to know why.

Latasha Roundtree's father Reginald, along with over 15 friends and family members gathered in the lobby of the Linn County jail to attend Saturday's hearing. 18-year-old Jeremiah Ellis was extradited Friday from Rockford, Ill. He was the last of the four men who were recently arrested in connection with the death of Latasha Roundtree, to make their initial appearance.

Ellis is charged with first-degree murder, intimidation with a deadly weapon, conspiracy to commit a forcible felony and going armed with intent, a criminal complaint said. A cash or surety bond of over $2 million was set. The preliminary hearing for Ellis was set for 8:30 a.m. on March 12.

Williams said he feels great today, but he's still left wondering why.

"She's a girl, it took all four of you to kill her, she's my daughter," Williams said. "I just don't understand it at all."

22-year-old Lestine Martin has known Latasha for over 10 years. She said her and Latasha's family moved from Chicago to Cedar Rapids to get away from the violence.

"Our families wanted to raise us in a better place," Martin said. "I didn't think coming to Iowa, a girl could be shot and killed."

Martin echoed the same feelings family members and friends shared Saturday morning, that Latasha was a very special person for a lot of people.

"She was a daughter, somebody's sister, best friend, girlfriend," Martin said. "It's hard to think that you can't live with her because of somebody else's choices."

"It's a good feeling knowing they're behind bars and not on the street," Martin said.
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