Staley freed on Stand Your Ground ruling

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By Nick Johansen

Kevin Staley will not face prosecution in the shooting death of Devin Davis. 

Staley's trial was set to begin at 9:30 a.m. Feb. 13 on a charge of voluntary manslaughter. However, on Feb. 12 Fourth Judicial District Court Judge James S. Heckerman ruled that Staley be granted immunity in the incident based on Iowa's Stand Your Ground Law. 

County Attorney Bruce Swanson outlined how the Stand Your Ground law impacted the case against Staley. 

"The two guys were lying in wait for Staley after he was lured to that location. He allegedly was engaged in a drug transaction but the DCI never found any drugs and no charges were filed. The judge found based on the incident, and the fact that a licensed weapon and a concealed weapons permit, that he was lawfully where he was, and faced with the type of force from the two assailants, he was justifed in using his weapon," Swanson said. 

Swanson added a pretrial mini-trial was held prior to the scheduled trial date Tuesday, Feb. 13. Judge Heckerman reviewed testimony and other evidence and ruled, based on the evidence and the statute, that Staley was immune to prosecution.

"The judge ordered me, as the state attorney, not to prosecute him. The case is basically dismissed because if I can't prosecute him, there's no case for me to move forward with," Swanson said. 

As for why Staley went to his mother's house following the shooting, Swanson said Staley's testimony was he was unaware he'd shot Davis. 

"He said he did not realize he had hit him. He said Davis fell away, and Staley said he ran away. That was one weakness in the Stand Your Ground defense, but when the court looked at the totality of the case, it didn't feel it was unreasonable after all that had just happened, he would run home and hide," commented Swanson. 

The full details of the incident on Oct. 11 have been made available in the judge's filing:

On Oct. 11, 2017 at approximately 4:15 a.m., Montgomery County Communications received a 911 call reporting a male suffering from a gunshot. Medical personnel arrived to find a deceased male later identified as Devin Davis.

Alex Wiechman and Kevin Duane Staley are on neighborhood surveillance video proceeding down an alley near 206 E. Grimes street at 3:29 a.m. Alex Wiechman states that the two met for an exchange of illegal substances and the two proceeded on their way separately.


Alex Wiechman later stated during depositions that his encounter with Staley was solely for the purposes of luring him to this location for Davis and Robert Wiechman so they can attack the d efendant.


After Alex Wiechman leaves, Davis and Robert Wiechman attack Staley wearing hoodies and bandanas to cover their faces. Robert Wiechman states they waited in the alley to ambush  Staley due to Davis' prior hatred toward Staley. Davis screamed and attacked Staley, knocking him to the ground. Staley simultaneously retrieved a licensed and registered firearm from his waist and shot at Davis one time. The bullet entered the center of Davis' chest.


Robert Wiechman and Davis fled the alleyway and with the assistance of Robert Wiechman, Davis made it to the front of the house located at 206 E. Grimes St. where he collapsed and was later pronounced dead. A knife was later found near the body of Davis.


The Defendant ran to his mother's residence where he was found sleeping at 12:45 p.m. the same day. The gun was also found at the residence.


Staley denies any illegal substance involvement and neither party was found to be in possession of illegal substances. Neither was charged with any illegal substance violations.

The complete ruling from Judge Heckerman can be found in the images above.