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Cedar Rapids Police explain false confession that led to charges filed, then dropped

Published: Aug. 3, 2021 at 6:17 PM CDT
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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) - There are new developments in the cold case murder of Dexter Meeks.

Meeks was shot and killed in front of his home 10 years ago. He was sitting on the porch with his brother at 211 15th Street SE at around 3:00 a.m.

A California man, Mykel Roberts, confessed to the crime, which at the time was a big break in the case. Now, the Linn County Attorney’s Office said that there’s no way Roberts did it.

The investigator, in this case, wouldn’t go on camera with KCRG-TV9, since it is still an ongoing investigation. However, in a statement, they explained why police initially believed Roberts’ confession, and how they came to the conclusion that he was lying.

While doing research as part of the judicial process, investigators found that when Meeks was shot to death, Roberts was in the Clinton County Jail.

This started in March of last year when the Sheriff in Modesto, Calif. reached out to the Cedar Rapids Police Department. A man, later identified as Roberts, in their jail insisted he’d committed a murder in Cedar Rapids in 2011, but he wasn’t sure of the victim’s name.

Shortly after, a detective in the Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Department interviewed Roberts to attempt to collect further details. A Cedar Rapids Police investigator identified the victim as Meeks. Then in April, two cold case investigators from the Cedar Rapids Police Department traveled to California and also interviewed Roberts. Investigators say they interviewed Roberts and he gave a detailed confession that corroborated many details of the shooting that weren’t made public.

On February 25, 2021, he was extradited to Iowa.

TV9 asked Cedar Rapids police how rare it is for something like this situation to happen. They said they cannot recall an incident in which someone gave a false confession that ended in charges being filed.

Those charges are dropped now, and Roberts will go back to California.

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