Drew Wagner sentenced to 47 years in prison for role in 2018 murder of Chris Bagley

Drew Wagner testifies during the trial of Drew Blahnik on Monday, July 19, 2021. Blahnik is...
Drew Wagner testifies during the trial of Drew Blahnik on Monday, July 19, 2021. Blahnik is accused of killing Drew Bagley in Linn County in December 2018.(KCRG)
Published: Aug. 6, 2021 at 2:49 PM CDT
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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) - Another man who took part in the 2018 murder of Chris Bagley has been sentenced to prison. Drew Wagner will spend 47 years behind bars.

As part of Wagner’s plea agreement he testified against Drew Blahnik during his murder trial last month in order to get a lesser sentence for himself.

During Blahnik’s trial, Wagner told the jury he charged at Chris Bagley and put him in a headlock in a fight over robberies Bagley committed against a large scale drug dealer named Andy Shaw.

During that fight, Wagner said Blahnik stabbed Bagley to death. Wagner denied having anything to do with hiding Bagley’s body, which was found more than 2 months later buried in his yard.

At Friday’s sentencing the defense called Dr. Luis Rosell to testify. He is a psychologist who evaluated Wagner and put together a 13 page mental health report. Dr. Rosell said Wagner did not have a violent history prior to being involved with Bagley’s killing.

Dr. Rosell testified about Wagner’s upbringing which included abuse and the loss of his mother at the age of 13. Based on the test Wagner completed, Dr. Rosell said he had symptoms of PTSD.

“There was some trauma growing up and he was coping with it best as he could,” Dr. Rosell testified.

The state asked the judge for the maximum sentence for Wagner which was 47 years.

Wagner addressed the Bagley family telling them, “I want to apologize from the bottom of my heart.”

He also apologized to his own family, “You raised me different than this. To my daughter I’m so sorry, you deserve so much more than this. This situation is not who I am. But I carry the weight of it every day,” Wagner said.

During his tearful apology Wagner told the Bagley family he would never forgive himself. He then told the judge he would do everything he could in prison to be better, including taking classes and therapy.

Chris Bagley’s mother Christine gave the first statement on behalf of the family. She said it was no secret Chris struggled with drugs, but that he always stayed connected to his family and he wanted to get better. She said “it was the easy money” that lured him into the drug lifestyle.

“He wanted to be better, he wanted to do better and he was making those changes to do so until Drew Blahnik and Drew Wagner murdered him,” Christine said.

“You held him down the whole time Blahnik stabbed him to death. What were you thinking,” she asked Wagner.

“My heart will always have an empty space. I will not trust another person outside my circle,” Christine said before asking the judge for the maximum sentence.

Bagley’s wife Courtney spoke next. ”It makes me angry that I, a law abiding citizen, a single mother and widow have to wear my husband’s shirts to sleep at night so I don’t experience nightmares that you and your cohorts made me have,” she told Wagner.

Courtney said she hopes her husband haunts Wagner’s dreams.

“I’ll pray for your soul,” she told him before leaving the stand.

Lastly, Chris’s sister Lori Ruiz made a statement. “For some reason, Drew Wagner and his accomplice decided that money and drugs were worth more than Chris’s life. How’s that money and drugs going now? Was it worth it? Worth spending what should be the best years of your life in prison,” she asked Wagner.

Judge Christopher Bruns announced the 47 year sentence and ordered Wagner to be held without bond.

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