Comments about mother may have spurred fatal Cedar Rapids fight

Jeff Raasch
Published: July 13 2010 | 1:58 pm - Updated: 2 April 2014 | 4:05 pm in
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Words about another man’s mother may have started the fistfight that ultimately killed a Georgia man last week.

Henry Rogers, 28, of Cedar Rapids, has been charged with involuntary manslaughter in the death of 35-year-old Dustin “Dusty” Davis, of Commerce, Ga. Rogers is accused of punching Davis once in the face, causing him to fall and hit his head.

Davis died the next day at an Iowa City hospital.

Rogers’ brother, Kenny Rogers, said his brother and Davis arrived in the same car to a house at 370 15th St. SE late on the night of July 6. Davis was drunk and was being loud, witnesses said.

Thomas Perez, who lives at that address, asked Davis to quiet down because his mother was inside. Words and shoves were exchanged between Davis and Perez when Rogers stepped in and punched Davis, Kenny Rogers said.

Police investigators have not spoken publicly about what started the fight.

“I’m sorry to his family for their loss,” Kenny Rogers said. “It’s not like my brother intentionally wanted to end that man’s life. It was an accident.”

Davis had moved to Cedar Rapids about a month ago and proposed to his girlfriend two days before his death, according to a statement released by his family.

“He was a good cook, loved the outdoors and would give the shirt off his back to a stranger,” the family’s statement said. “Dustin trusted easily and would talk to anybody.”

Kenny Rogers said his brother was trying to overcome a troubled past. He recently married his girlfriend and she is pregnant with his third child. Kenny Rogers said he would stand by his brother and did not question his judgment.

“In our family, we were raised to protect ourselves and protect the people we care about,” Kenny Rogers said.

Rogers has an extensive criminal history, including at least 48 arrests in Cedar Rapids since 1999. Most of them are for assault and some of them involve weapons.

“On this side of town, fighting is unfortunately an everyday thing for us,” Kenny Rogers said. “You don’t want to get punked and have people think they can beat you and take your stuff.”

Henry Rogers faces up to five years in prison, if convicted.

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