Trials Reset for Two Teens Charged in Latasha Roundtree Homicide
By Trish Mehaffey, Reporter
CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa - The trial for two of the teens charged in the homicide of 19-year-old Latasha Roundree is reset to October.
Jeremiah Ellis, 19, of Cedar Rapids, is charged with first-degree murder, intimidation with a dangerous weapon, conspiracy to commit a forcible felony and going armed with intent. He is accused of firing weapons into a car where Roundtree was a passenger Sept. 22, 2012, according to a criminal complaint. The car was parked in the 600 block of 16th Ave. SW.
Yasin Muhidin, 18, of unknown address, is charged with first-degree murder, intimidation with a dangerous weapon, trafficking in stolen weapons, going armed with intent and conspiracy to commit a forcible felony, an aggravated misdemeanor. He is accused of killing Roundtree or aiding and abetting another who killed her, according to a criminal complaint. He also is accused of supplying the firearm or aiding and abetting another who supplied the firearm used in the shooting.
A trial is set for Oct. 6, but their trials could be separated at a later date. Each defendants' attorney could ask for separate trials.
A status conference is set Feb. 25, for Tajh Ross, 19, who is also charged with first-degree murder, intimidation with a dangerous weapon, conspiracy to commit a forcible felony and going armed with intent. Ross is accused of shooting a firearm into the car, according to a criminal complaint.
Ross had a competency evaluation in October and a trial date isn't set at this time. At previous hearings, Ross hasn't cooperated with his attorney and has asked the court repeatedly to represent himself and claiming the court had no authority. The judge ruled he wasn't competent to defend himself and denied his motion for a new attorney.
The other two charged in the homicide, Liban Muhidin, 21, and Adrian Kenney, 23, both of Cedar Rapids, have pleaded guilty and as part of their plea agreements will testify against the others at their trials.
Liban Muhidin pleaded guilty in July 2013 to conspiracy to commit a forcible felony and faces up to 10 years in prison. He admitted to conspiring with four others to arm themselves and shoot at the vehicle.
Adrian M. Kenney pleaded guilty in October 2013 to perjury and accessory after fact. He faces up to 7 years in prison. He admitted to giving false information about the crime to police and disposing of evidence and helping others flee from the scene.
Liban Muhidin admitted the conspiracy to investigators and the fact that he previously had an AK-47 and a .40 caliber Smith and Wesson semi-automatic pistol, First Assistant Linn County Attorney Nick Maybanks said last year at the time of his plea. He also told investigators he and his brother, Yasin Muhidin, who's also charged, coordinated together to bring the firearms to the party that night.
Maybanks previously said Liban Muhidin admitted to placing the AK-47 across the street in a yard so another co-conspirator could use it in the shooting. Liban Muhidin also told police a false story to cover up his and others' involvement that night.
Both Kenney and Liban Muhidin will be sentenced after the other three trials.