Fourth Defendant Pleads Guilty in Latasha Roundtree Homicide

By Trish Mehaffey, The Gazette

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa - A 19-year-old pleaded guilty Monday and faces up to 17 years in prison for his part in the fatal shooting of Latasha Roundtree in 2012.

Jeremiah Ellis of Cedar Rapids, pleaded guilty to amended charges of accessory after the fact, conspiracy to commit a felony of going armed and intimidation with a dangerous weapon. He admitted during the hearing that he fired a loaded handgun at the car in which Latasha Roundtree, 19, was a passenger Sept. 22, 2012. He also admitted to participating with others who were armed and they planned to injure or intimidate others in the car that night.

Ellis also said he didn’t help law enforcement when they questioned him about the shooting and helped conceal people responsible for Roundtree’s death.

First Assistant Linn County Attorney Nick Maybanks said as part of the plea agreement Ellis must give “truthful” testimony at trial against Tajh Ross, 20, who is accused of shooting and killing Roundtree. He also will be required to submit to further police interviews and depositions in this case.

He was originally charged with first-degree murder, intimidation with a dangerous weapon, conspiracy to commit a forcible felony and going armed with intent.

Ellis also will face another 10 years, which will run consecutively to the 17 years, for a probation revocation on a previous conviction where he received a suspended sentence.

Three others charged in the case have pleaded guilty and also will testify against Ross at his trial.

During a separate hearing Monday, the trial for Ross, charged with first-degree murder, intimidation with a dangerous weapon, conspiracy to commit a forcible felony and going armed with intent, was reset to July 14. His trial was previously set to start next week. All four defendants who have pleaded in this case will be sentenced after they testify at Ross’ trial.

l Comments: (319) 398-8318; trish.mehaffey@sourcemedia.net

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