The Daily Iowan

Curtis Jones named as suspect in second homicide

Iowa+City+Police+Chief+Jody+Matherly+speaks+during+a+press+conference+in+City+Hall+on+Monday%2C+Nov.+20%2C+2017.+Iowa+City+Police+Department+and+the+Johnson+County+Attorney%E2%80%99s+Office+announced+that+Curtis+Cortez+Jones+will+be+charged+with+first+degree+murder+in+the+murder+of+Jonathan+Wieseler.+Jones+is+currently+in+the+Johnson+County+Jail+awaiting+trial+for+the+Ricky+Lillie+homicide.+%28Joseph+Cress%2FThe+Daily+Iowan%29
Iowa City Police Chief Jody Matherly speaks during a press conference in City Hall on Monday, Nov. 20, 2017. Iowa City Police Department and the Johnson County Attorney’s Office announced that Curtis Cortez Jones will be charged with first degree murder in the murder of Jonathan Wieseler. Jones is currently in the Johnson County Jail awaiting trial for the Ricky Lillie homicide. (Joseph Cress/The Daily Iowan)

Iowa City Police Chief Jody Matherly speaks during a press conference in City Hall on Monday, Nov. 20, 2017. Iowa City Police Department and the Johnson County Attorney’s Office announced that Curtis Cortez Jones will be charged with first degree murder in the murder of Jonathan Wieseler. Jones is currently in the Johnson County Jail awaiting trial for the Ricky Lillie homicide. (Joseph Cress/The Daily Iowan)

The Daily Iowan; Photos by Josep

The Daily Iowan; Photos by Josep

Iowa City Police Chief Jody Matherly speaks during a press conference in City Hall on Monday, Nov. 20, 2017. Iowa City Police Department and the Johnson County Attorney’s Office announced that Curtis Cortez Jones will be charged with first degree murder in the murder of Jonathan Wieseler. Jones is currently in the Johnson County Jail awaiting trial for the Ricky Lillie homicide. (Joseph Cress/The Daily Iowan)


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Iowa City law-enforcement authorities have named Curtis Jones, 41, of Mount Pleasant, Iowa, as a suspect in the slaying of bail bondsman Jonathan Wieseler.

In a press conference Nov. 20, Iowa City police said they found DNA evidence and surveillance footage that Jones was within blocks of AAA Lederman Bonds, 518 S. Capitol St., on April 22, when Wieseler, 34, was found dead with multiple traumas. An autopsy later confirmed he died of a gunshot wound.

Police allege that Jones shot Wieseler in the head while committing first-degree robbery.

At the press conference, Johnson County prosecutor Janet Lyness said Jones will appear at a hearing on Nov. 21 at 8 a.m. to move forward with charges of first-degree murder with “malice aforethought.”

Lyness said Jones was seen driving a car blocks away from the crime scene on surveillance video. Authorities allege that forensic testing of evidence of the car, which was seized through a search warrant, contained the DNA of Jonathan Wieseler and that of Curtis Cortez Jones comingled.

Jones is also a suspect in the homicide of Yellow Cab driver Ricky Ray Lillie.

Lillie was found dead on June 28 in his cab on the 500 block of Ernest Street. A July 19 press release from the Iowa City police said Jones was suspected of shooting Lillie in the head after taking a cab ride, and was seen on surveillance video leaving the area in which Lillie’s body was found. Jones was taken into custody in Keokuk County on June 30 on theft charges and a parole violation.

RELATED: Arrest warrant issued in Ricky Lillie murder investigation

When Jones was brought in, he was questioned about the slaying of both Wieseler and Lillie. At the time, he was not identified as a suspect in Wieseler’s death.

Jones’ defense filed motions in September to have his trial moved out of Iowa City, taking issue with the way law enforcement and local media handled his case. The motions said Jones was intoxicated when he was questioned in June and was improperly read his Miranda rights. The motions also contended that local media coverage was inflammatory and fueled local prejudice against Jones.

Jones’ trial in the killing of Lillie is scheduled for April 9, 2018, at the Scott County Courthouse in Davenport.

— Naomi Hofferber

Click below for more photos

Iowa City Police Cpt. Troy Kelsay (second from left) stands next to Iowa City Mayor Jim Throgmorton (in gray) during a press conference in City Hall on Monday, Nov. 20, 2017. Iowa City Police Department and the Johnson County Attorney’s Office announced that Curtis Cortez Jones will be charged with first degree murder in the murder of Jonathan Wieseler. Jones is currently in the Johnson County Jail awaiting trial for the Ricky Lillie homicide. (Joseph Cress/The Daily Iowan)

Iowa City Police Sgt. Scott Gaarde speaks during a press conference in City Hall on Monday, Nov. 20, 2017. Iowa City Police Department and the Johnson County Attorney’s Office announced that Curtis Cortez Jones will be charged with first degree murder in the murder of Jonathan Wieseler. Jones is currently in the Johnson County Jail awaiting trial for the Ricky Lillie homicide. (Joseph Cress/The Daily Iowan)

Iowa City Police Sgt. Scott Gaarde speaks during a press conference in City Hall on Monday, Nov. 20, 2017. Iowa City Police Department and the Johnson County Attorney’s Office announced that Curtis Cortez Jones will be charged with first degree murder in the murder of Jonathan Wieseler. Jones is currently in the Johnson County Jail awaiting trial for the Ricky Lillie homicide. (Joseph Cress/The Daily Iowan)

Iowa City Police Chief Jody Matherly speaks during a press conference in City Hall on Monday, Nov. 20, 2017. Iowa City Police Department and the Johnson County Attorney’s Office announced that Curtis Cortez Jones will be charged with first degree murder in the murder of Jonathan Wieseler. Jones is currently in the Johnson County Jail awaiting trial for the Ricky Lillie homicide. (Joseph Cress/The Daily Iowan)

Harmony Hauser, Johnathan Wieseler's fiancé, holds hands with a supporter speaks during a press conference in City Hall on Monday, Nov. 20, 2017. Iowa City Police Department and the Johnson County Attorney’s Office announced that Curtis Cortez Jones will be charged with first degree murder in the murder of Jonathan Wieseler. Jones is currently in the Johnson County Jail awaiting trial for the Ricky Lillie homicide. (Joseph Cress/The Daily Iowan)

Iowa City Police Chief Jody Matherly speaks during a press conference in City Hall on Monday, Nov. 20, 2017. Iowa City Police Department and the Johnson County Attorney’s Office announced that Curtis Cortez Jones will be charged with first degree murder in the murder of Jonathan Wieseler. Jones is currently in the Johnson County Jail awaiting trial for the Ricky Lillie homicide. (Joseph Cress/The Daily Iowan)

Iowa City Police Chief Jody Matherly speaks during a press conference in City Hall on Monday, Nov. 20, 2017. Iowa City Police Department and the Johnson County Attorney’s Office announced that Curtis Cortez Jones will be charged with first degree murder in the murder of Jonathan Wieseler. Jones is currently in the Johnson County Jail awaiting trial for the Ricky Lillie homicide. (Joseph Cress/The Daily Iowan)

Johnson County Attorney Janet Lyness speaks during a press conference in City Hall on Monday, Nov. 20, 2017. Iowa City Police Department and the Johnson County Attorney’s Office announced that Curtis Cortez Jones will be charged with first degree murder in the murder of Jonathan Wieseler. Jones is currently in the Johnson County Jail awaiting trial for the Ricky Lillie homicide. (Joseph Cress/The Daily Iowan)

Harmony Hauser, Johnathan Wieseler's fiancé, grieves during a press conference in City Hall on Monday, Nov. 20, 2017. Iowa City Police Department and the Johnson County Attorney’s Office announced that Curtis Cortez Jones will be charged with first degree murder in the murder of Jonathan Wieseler. Jones is currently in the Johnson County Jail awaiting trial for the Ricky Lillie homicide. (Joseph Cress/The Daily Iowan)

Family members console Harmony Hauser, Johnathan Wieseler's fiancé, during a press conference in City Hall on Monday, Nov. 20, 2017. Iowa City Police Department and the Johnson County Attorney’s Office announced that Curtis Cortez Jones will be charged with first degree murder in the murder of Jonathan Wieseler. Jones is currently in the Johnson County Jail awaiting trial for the Ricky Lillie homicide. (Joseph Cress/The Daily Iowan)

Johnson County Attorney Janet Lyness (left) speaks while Iowa City Police Sgt. Scott Gaarde listens to questions during a press conference in City Hall on Monday, Nov. 20, 2017. Iowa City Police Department and the Johnson County Attorney’s Office announced that Curtis Cortez Jones will be charged with first degree murder in the murder of Jonathan Wieseler. Jones is currently in the Johnson County Jail awaiting trial for the Ricky Lillie homicide. (Joseph Cress/The Daily Iowan)

Harmony Houser, Johnathan Wieseler's fiancé, asks a question during a press conference in City Hall on Monday, Nov. 20, 2017. Iowa City Police Department and the Johnson County Attorney’s Office announced that Curtis Cortez Jones will be charged with first degree murder in the murder of Jonathan Wieseler. Jones is currently in the Johnson County Jail awaiting trial for the Ricky Lillie homicide. (Joseph Cress/The Daily Iowan)

Harmony Hauser, Johnathan Wieseler's fiancé, receives a court document from Johnson County Attorney Janet Lyness during a press conference in City Hall on Monday, Nov. 20, 2017. Iowa City Police Department and the Johnson County Attorney’s Office announced that Curtis Cortez Jones will be charged with first degree murder in the murder of Jonathan Wieseler. Jones is currently in the Johnson County Jail awaiting trial for the Ricky Lillie homicide. (Joseph Cress/The Daily Iowan)

Harmony Hauser, Johnathan Wieseler's fiancé, speaks to members of the media after a press conference in City Hall on Monday, Nov. 20, 2017. Iowa City Police Department and the Johnson County Attorney’s Office announced that Curtis Cortez Jones will be charged with first degree murder in the murder of Jonathan Wieseler. Jones is currently in the Johnson County Jail awaiting trial for the Ricky Lillie homicide. (Joseph Cress/The Daily Iowan)

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