CEDAR RAPIDS — An 18-year-old who received probation in March for a robbery that led to a serious assault on a Cedar Rapids police may now face revocation and a 25-year sentence on the first-degree robbery charge.
Maurice Harden of Cedar Rapids was arrested and charged Thursday in Linn County District Court for drug possession and interference in official acts, both serious misdemeanors. Harden is accused of possessing a small bag of marijuana and fleeing from police after officers approached him.
According to a police report, plain clothes officers saw two individuals behind Westdale Mall after hours and when the officers pulled in to talk to them and identified themselves as police officers, the two young men took off running. A 16-year-old was quickly caught and arrested, but Harden ran towards Gander Mountain. He was apprehended on Scotty Drive SW and found with a small bag of marijuana.
Sixth Judicial District Associate Judge Casey Jones set Harden’s bond at $2,500 cash or surety on the misdemeanor charges and ordered him to have a substance abuse evaluation within 30 days. Harden also will have a probation revocation hearing 8:45 a.m. Sept. 17, and bond for those charges was set at $30,000 cash.
If Harden is convicted on the drug possession and interference charges, the county attorney will likely ask the court to revoke his probation and he will face 25 years in prison.
Harden pleaded guilty in January 2010 to first-degree robbery and interference with official acts causing serious injury for the robbery of David Scanlon and Austin Switalski, both of Cedar Rapids, on March 29, 2009.
While responding to that robbery, Officer Tim Davis, 33, attempted to stop Jose Rockiett, 18, of Cedar Rapids. Rockiett then struck him in the head with a handgun. Davis, who was knocked unconscious, suffered a fractured skull and severe brain swelling after he fell and hit his head on the street.
Because Harden was a juvenile at the time, he received a deferred sentence and was sent to the Eldora State Training School for Boys until his 18th birthday. He was then sent to adult court to determine his release, probation or prison term.
District Judge Ian Thornhill suspended the 25-year sentence in March and sentenced him to five years probation. Thornhill told Harden he was giving him a “second chance” but if Harden came before him in court again, he would go to prison for 25 years.
During the sentencing hearing in March, Harden apologized for his actions in 2009.
“I apologize for everything I’ve done in the past…I’ve thought about it all the time and never forgot it,” Harden said in March. “I’m sorry for everything I did in the community, and I’m sorry for it. That’s all I have to say.”
Jose Rockiett, now 20, who was involved in the robbery with Harden, was responsible for the assault of Davis and pleaded guilty in March 2010. He is serving a 25-year prison term.
Robert Watkins, now 18, also received probation in June for his part in the robbery of Scanlon and Switalski.