Washington Evening Journal
111 North Marion Avenue
Washington, IA 52353
Friday was a busy day in Washington County District Court.
County Attorney John Gish said sentencing was done for several recent jury trials.
Dagger Erdman, 19, of Brighton was found guilty by a jury on July 15 of sexual abuse in the second degree, a Class B felony.
At sentencing, the Washington County Attorney’s Office argued the defendant should face the maximum possible punishment: 25 years in prison with a mandatory minimum 17.5 years.
Because Erdman was 17 when he committed the offense, Iowa law permitted the court to suspend his sentence, which is ultimately what the court did.
The court placed Erdman on probation and required him to go to a halfway house.
“Erdman never apologized to the victim nor the victim’s family, and he has never taken responsibility for his actions,” Gish said. “At sentencing, he only complained of the impact of this case on him and his family. His actions and failure to accept responsibility demanded prison.”
Daniel Alvarado Zorola, 42, of Coralville was sentenced after being found guilty by a jury on June 24 of burglary in the second degree, a Class C felony, and operating a motor vehicle without owner’s consent, an aggravated misdemeanor.
In 2019, Zorola went into the hotel room of two elderly women at the Riverside Casino while they slept, and the women woke up to discover him naked.
The Washington County Attorney’s Office argued for the maximum possible sentence in this case: 12 years. But the court sentenced Zorola to 10 years in prison.
Marvin Shilling, 40, of Nichols was previously charged with burglary in the first degree, a Class B felony, after he entered onto the property of another person in Riverside without permission.
After being asked to leave, Shilling assaulted one of the people on the property.
On Sept. 16, a jury found Shilling guilty of a lesser-included offense of assault causing bodily injury, a serious misdemeanor, but not burglary.
The Washington County Attorney’s Office argued for the maximum of one year in jail and noted that the Shilling has several violent convictions, including domestic abuse strangulation causing Injury, a Class D felony.
Despite Shilling’s violent history, the court sentenced him to a suspended 76-day jail sentence and placed him on unsupervised probation.
“Shilling is a volatile and violent person, and the sentence did not fit the person,” Gish said.
Immediately following Shilling’s sentencing, he was arrested for perjury, a Class D felony.
“Shilling testified in his own defense at trial on Sept. 15, and afterward, I immediately began working with the Washington County Sheriff’s Office to investigate his sworn testimony.
“We discovered several key instances where Shilling’s testimony was false. He undermined the criminal justice system in the hopes of avoiding a burglary conviction, and for that, he was charged.”
Shantel Forrest, 38, of Hiawatha faced a probation revocation following a conviction on Nov. 17, 2016, of delivery of Oxycodone, a Class C felony.
“During her last year of supervision, Forrest continued to violate supervision and did not take it seriously,” Gish said. “I argued her suspended sentence should be revoked in its entirety and asked the court to send her to prison for 10 years.”
Instead, the court ordered her to serve 80 days in jail, and the court dismissed her from probation.
Tessa Kindred, 26, of Cedar Rapids pleaded guilty to conspiracy to deliver methamphetamine, a Class B felony, and was sentenced to prison for up to 25 years.
On March 24, Kindred and Brett Kris, 31, of Cedar Rapids were stopped in a vehicle along Highway 22 in Washington County.
The Washington County Sheriff’s Office seized more than 845 grams of methamphetamine and discovered evidence the drugs were going to be sold.
“Law enforcement did a remarkable job of putting this case together, and I am really proud of the result,” Gish said.