Shaun Hogan, accused of killing Crystal Gaffney in early July and dumping her body on a gravel road near Walker, has pleaded not guilty.
Hogan, 36, of Waterloo, entered a written plea Tuesday morning. He has been charged with first-degree murder and his trial date has not been set.
The body of Gaffney, 29, was found on Linn-Buchanan Road the morning of July 9. The Linn County Sheriff’s Office was called to the scene after the body was discovered. Gaffney, who was unidentified at the time, was pronounced dead at the scene. Her body was sent to the State Medical Examiner’s Office, where she was later identified.
On July 10, Gaffney was identified, her cause of death was determined to be blunt force trauma and Hogan was charged with her murder.
According to search warrant affidavits filed in the case, Hogan’s ex-wife implicated him in the crime. Hogan allegedly called his ex, Tamera McClaren, around 10 p.m. July 8, said he had “done something bad” and that Gaffney was not breathing, court documents state. Hogan wanted to know what to do with Gaffney’s children, the affidavit said.
Hogan showed up at McClaren’s Waterloo residence on the afternoon of July 9. He had Gaffney’s children with him and wanted to take the two sons he had with McClaren to his house for a sleepover. While at McClaren’s residence, Hogan allegedly showed her a news article about Gaffney’s death.
“This is her,” Hogan told his ex-wife, according to the affidavit.
McClaren told investigators Hogan later called her to say he needed to drop off his sons because of the “situation” and that he needed to “leave town,” according to the warrants. McClaren’s sons apparently were dropped off by Hogan, his mother and another woman.
Another woman, Jennifer Wilson, told police that her children spoke with Gaffney’s children on July 9. Gaffney’s children told the Wilson’s children they had seen their father stab and kill their mother the night before, court documents state.
The affidavit states police spoke with Calvin Jones, who said Hogan showed up at Jones’ residence the night of July 10 and slept there. Hogan allegedly asked Jones for a ride out of the state and a change of clothes.
A number of items were seized in the case, including a crowbar and claw hammer from the garage Hogan shared with his mother and a golf club, ax, machete and clothes from Jones’ apartment, where Hogan was found by police.
Hogan and Gaffney were in and out of a relationship for a year and a half before her death, according to Gaffney’s uncle.
First-degree murder is a Class A felony punishable by an automatic life sentence. He remains in custody on a $1 million bond.