Linn County Attorney explains reasoning behind plea deal in Taboo shooting

During victim impact statements on Monday, and in an interview with TV9 outside the courtroom, family said the system had failed them.
Published: May. 25, 2023 at 5:59 PM CDT
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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) - The Linn County Attorney is defending a plea deal for Timothy Rush, one of the two shooters at Taboo Nightclub in Cedar Rapids.

Three people died in that shooting on April 10th of last year. Rush shot into the crowd, killing two people, Marvin Cox and Nicole Owens. He took a plea deal for less prison time, and received a sentence this week of 30 years for involuntary manslaughter among other charges.

Originally, Rush faced two counts of second-degree murder.

During sentencing on Monday, the families of Marvin Cox and Nicole Owens spoke, voicing their frustration due to a lack of investigation and a trial. They also say race was also a factor in a system that failed them.

Linn County Attorney Nick Maybanks released a statement refuting that claim and said the evidence supported a plea deal, pointing to video that shows Rush firing indiscriminately into a crowd at Taboo.

He says this case is one of many that support the need for a Reckless Homicide charge, which would come with a stronger penalty.

”So essentially if a prosecutor proves that an act was committed recklessly and caused someone’s death, that would be a ‘B’ Felony or a 25-year sentence. So we want to cut between those two and make sure that we have what we need to hold people accountable,“ said Maybanks.

He says Iowa lawmakers should discuss if there would be mandatory minimums if aggregating factors were at play, such as the use of a dangerous weapon.

Rush’s sentence of 30 years has no mandatory minimum.

Dimione Walker was found guilty of first-degree murder in the shooting death of Michael Valentine at the Taboo Nightclub back in April. He is spending life in prison without parole.