Trooper Smelled Alcohol on Keokuk Co. Sheriff, Saw Beer Cans in Truck

By Trish Mehaffey, Reporter

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By James Steward

SIGOURNEY, Iowa – Keokuk County Sheriff Jeff Shipley was arrested in connection with drunken driving after a state trooper smelled a strong odor of alcohol on him and observed beer cans on the floorboard Wednesday, according to criminal complaint.

Shipley, 45, of What Cheer, was initially pulled over for a registration violation on Highway 92 eastbound, near Stone Street in Sigourney, according to the criminal complaint by Iowa State Trooper Rick Diephuis. When Diephuis made contact with Shipley outside his vehicle, he could smell the strong odor of an alcoholic beverage on him and his eyes were watery and blood shot.

Diephuis said he could also smell “strong fresh odor” of alcohol coming from the interior of the truck, according to the complaint. There were beer cans on the rear floor and in the bed of the truck.

Shipley, who was elected in 2008, admitted to the trooper he had been drinking and refused to take a field sobriety test, according to the complaint. He read and signed the implied consent, refusing to provide a breath sample.

Shipley was arrested for OWI, first offense, and taken to the Keokuk County Jail. He was later charged and released on a promise to appear before a magistrate 9 a.m. Monday in Keokuk County Court.

Michael Berg, chairman of the Keokuk County Board of Supervisors said Thursday Shipley was in his vehicle, not the department’s and wasn’t working at the time.

Washington County will be prosecuting the case to avoid any potential conflict of interest.

Washington County Assistant Attorney Shawn Showers said Thursday a Keokuk County judge will need to sign a motion to give the Washington County Attorney’s Office permission to prosecute the case.

Showers expects that the process will be underway within a week or two.

On Nov. 25, 2008, Shipley pleaded guilty to operating a motorboat while intoxicated. According to court records, Shipley had a blood-alcohol content of 0.214 at Coralville Lake’s Mehaffey Bridge boat ramp on Aug. 1, 2008.

On April 4, 2011, Shipley and two of his deputy officers were involved in a deadly shootout with a man at a farmhouse south of Sigourney.

During the shootout, Sgt. Eric Stein was shot and killed by Jeffrey A. Krier after he, Shipley and Chief Deputy Casey Hinnah went to Krier’s home to ask him about a series of incidents from the preceding days.

Members of the Iowa State Patrol Tactical Unit shot and killed Krier after a three-hour standoff. In all, officers fired 115 rounds and Krier got off 49.

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