CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa — A judge ordered a $1 million bond Tuesday for a 43-year-old Cedar Rapids man accused of killing his wife.
Shawn A. Crowley, of 1808 Eastern Dr. SW, Lot 41, was formally charged with first-degree murder during his initial appearance Tuesday from the Linn County Jail. He appeared wearing a padded vest, commonly worn by inmates on suicide watch.
He is accused of killing his wife, Chantele Crowley, 39, who officers found dead Monday at their mobile home after a family member requested a welfare check.
It appeared the woman had been strangled and a cellphone charging cord was found near the body, according to the complaint. Shawn Crowley allegedly admitted to several witnesses he had killed his wife and later turned himself in at the Cedar Rapids Police Department.
An autopsy on Chantele Crowley will be performed by the State Medical Examiner’s Office to determine cause and manner of death.
According to court records, Chantele Crowley had filed for several domestic abuse protective orders on multiple occasions against Shawn Crowley, including one filed May 29.
Mary Covert, of Franklin Park, Ill., Chantele’s aunt, on Tuesday told The Gazette that her niece was a good and caring person who was "loved by everybody."
"She didn't deserve this," Covert said during a phone interview.
Covert said Chantele just lost her grandfather about two weeks ago and she and Shawn Crowley attended the funeral. Chantele left Shane in May and was staying with a friend, and Covert said she didn't know they were back together until Shawn came to her father's funeral with her niece.
Covert said she thought the couple had been married close to 10 years but wasn't sure. She said they had problems over the years and she thought Shawn had psychological problems.
"He used to hurt her all the time," Covert said. "We tried to intervene on many, many occasions.”
Covert said she thought the protective order was filed in May because "he was making threats to her and I think he was accusing her of stuff and she got out.”
Chantele Crowley’s death is the eighth homicide in Cedar Rapids this year and the third domestic homicide case, according to court records.
Gazette reporter Lee Hermiston contributed to this report.
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