Curtis Padgett pleads ‘not guilty’ in 2007 murder of Dennis First

Curtis Padgett
Curtis Padgett(KCRG)
Published: Mar. 28, 2023 at 3:50 PM CDT
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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) - The Cedar Rapids man charged with killing Dennis First back in 2007 has pled not guilty.

42-year-old Curtis Padgett is charged with first-degree murder in the death of 64-year-old Dennis First. First was found dead in his apartment in the 2200 block of C St. SW on May 11th, 2007. His death was investigated as a homicide at the time, but no arrests were made. Investigators said Padgett killed First by beating, then stabbing or cutting him following an argument.

Cedar Rapids Police said investigators had spent more than 15 years evaluating evidence in the case, leading to the arrest and charges. At the time of the murder, Cedar Rapids Police told KCRG-TV9 that they had collected DNA evidence at the scene that they believed would lead them to the killer.

Padgett is also connected to another Cedar Rapids cold case in the 2001 disappearance of Erin Pospisil. Pospisil, then 15, was reported missing on June 3, 2001. She was last seen leaving her home with Padgett according to investigators. Padgett told police that he gave Pospisil a ride to a friend’s home in southeast Cedar Rapids. Padgett said that no one answered at the friend’s home and Pospisil then left in another vehicle that had pulled up to the home. She reportedly told Padgett that she would get a ride with the people in the car.

No charges have been filed in her disappearance.