High Speed Pursuit Leads to Arrest of Murder Suspect by State Patrol

(DES MOINES, Iowa) – The Iowa State Patrol attempted to stop a vehicle yesterday on Hwy 218 near Nashua around 9:30 am for a speed violation. The driver, 21 year old Devon Cooke of Miami, Florida, fled at speeds over 100mph and drove at oncoming traffic. He was apprehended after a short foot pursuit when his tires became deflated from a set of stop sticks deployed by officers.

Driver was charged with OWI 1st degree, felony eluding, assault on a peace officer, possession with intent to deliver, fail to affix tax stamp, possession of drug paraphernalia and multiple traffic violations. He is being held in the Chickasaw County Jail on these charges and awaiting extradition to Dade County Florida where is wanted for 2nd degree murder.

Assisting in the pursuit was Iowa DOT Enforcement, Bremer County Sheriff’s Department. Chickasaw County Sheriff’s Department, Blackhawk County Sheriff’s Department and Janesville Police Department.

Note: A criminal charge is merely an accusation and a defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty.


At approximately 7:06 a.m., Tuesday June 28 th , 2016 a citizen reported hearing gunshots in the 7000

block of Cliffland Road just east of Ottumwa. The caller also reported a description of the vehicle

departing the area. While responding to the call a Wapello County Sheriff’s Deputy observed a vehicle

matching the description just south of Agency Iowa at which time the suspect vehicle began to elude

the following Deputy. The Deputy followed the vehicle back into Ottumwa from Agency and then back

east out of Ottumwa by way of Cliffland Road. The Deputy continued to follow the vehicle to just south

of the Des Moines River Bridge in Eldon when the vehicle crashed into the ditch. The suspect vehicle

was occupied by four subjects all of which exited the vehicle and continued to elude the Deputy on foot.

Assistance began to arrive by this time and three of the four subjects were taken into custody, with the

fourth still at large. No persons’ were injured at the 7000 block of Cliffland Road where the original call

began. Assisting the Wapello County Sheriff’s Office on this investigation was the Ottumwa Police

Dept., Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office, Fairfield Police Dept. Iowa State Patrol and the Eldon Fire

Dept. The matter remains under investigation and further charges are anticipated. Taken into custody

at this time and charged is Joshua Pierce, age 27 of Ottumwa charged with Possession, Receipt,

Transportation, or Dominion and Control of Firearms, Driving while Barred and Eluding Law

Enforcement. Carl Penelton, age 29 of Ottumwa is charged with Interference with Official Acts as was

a 17 yr old Juvenile charged with Interference with Official Acts and released to their parent.

release2 release1

This criminal charge is an accusation and the Defendant is presumed innocent until

and unless proven guilty.


Two Killed in Traffic Accident Near Chillicothe

A fatal accident occurred just west of Ottumwa on Highway 163 on Thursday afternoon.

According to the accident report from the Iowa State Patrol, a Toyota Camry driven by 32-year-old Annie Kumcho Ngum of Coon Rapids, Minnesota, attempted to cross Highway 163 from Eddyville Road near Chillicothe to get in the northbound lane. Her vehicle was struck by a southbound semi driven by 59-year-old David Kirk Barnhill of Des Moines and pushed it into the median.

Ngum, along with her passenger, 31-year-old Patience Ndikum Mbuh of Anoka, Minnesota, were pronounced dead at the scene.

Barnhill was not injured in the crash.

Oskaloosa Man Apprehended After High Speed Chase

An Oskaloosa man is in custody at the Jasper County Jail after a high speed chase through Polk and Jasper Counties.

Derek Mullennax, age 35 of Oskaloosa, led authorities on a 30 mile chase, reaching speeds of 145 mph. The chase started in Pleasant Hill, and ended in Lambs Grove after Mullennax hit a tree stump.

Mullennax faces charges of attempted murder, intimidation with a dangerous weapon, felon in possession of a firearm, eluding police, as well as other traffic charges.

An Iowa State Patrol vehicle caught fire at the scene of the crash in the dry grass and brush. The trooper driving the vehicle was not injured.

Fatal Accident on Highway 92

According to the Iowa State Patrol, around 7 pm on Saturday, a fatal accident occurred on Highway 92 West near mile marker 175.

Solomon Habtesion, age 39 of Ottumwa, was driving a 2006 Toyota Highlander eastbound on Highway 92 when his vehicle became disabled. He stopped in the eastbound lane, and the occupants exited the vehicle. Driving a 1996 Chevy S10, Georgie Crews, age 62 of Oskaloosa, was eastbound and struck the rear of Habtesion’s vehicle, pushing it into the 2013 Ford 150 of 66 year old Kenneth Sharp of Creston.

According to the report, Crews was not wearing a seatbelt at the time of the accident. Crews died of his injuries.

Habtesion and another passenger, Shewit Gebrengus, age 30 of Des Moines, were transported to Iowa Methodist Medical Center in Des Moines by Life Flight.

The accident is still under investigation by the Iowa State Patrol.


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