May trial set for a co-defendant in Latasha Roundtree homicide

Trish Mehaffey
Published: February 26 2014 | 2:54 pm - Updated: 29 March 2014 | 4:12 am in

Tajh Ross, charged in the homicide of Latasha Roundtree in 2012, is competent to stand trial according to a state mental evaluation.

Sixth Judicial District Chief Judge Patrick Grady lifted his suspension of the proceedings Tuesday and set Ross' trial May 12.

Ross, 18, is charged with first-degree murder, intimidation with a dangerous weapon, conspiracy to commit a forcible felony and going armed with intent. He is accused of shooting a firearm into a car in which Roundtree, 19, of Cedar Rapids, was a passenger Sept. 22, 2012 in the 600 block of 16th Avenue SW. Four other men are also charged in the homicide.

Ross has refused to cooperate with his attorney and the court. He repeatedly has asked to represent himself  but he wouldn't answer Grady's questions, so Grady ruled he wasn't competent to defend himself.

Ross has filed numerous motions citing the Uniform Commercial Code, which concerns commercial law and has nothing to do with criminal law. In his latest motion, he protests the spelling of his name in court documents and cites case law not relevant to a criminal case.

Others charged in this homicide:

-Jeremiah Ellis, 19, of Cedar Rapids, is charged with first-degree murder, intimidation with a dangerous weapon, conspiracy to commit a forcible felony and going armed with intent. He is accused of firing weapons into the car, according to criminal complaint. Trial is set Oct. 6.

- Yasin Muhidin, 18, of unknown address, is charged with first-degree murder, intimidation with a dangerous weapon, trafficking in stolen  weapons, going armed with intent and  conspiracy to commit a forcible felony, an aggravated misdemeanor. He is accused of killing Roundtree or aiding and abetting another who killed her, according to a complaint. He also is accused of supplying the firearm or aiding and abetting another who supplied the firearm used in the shooting. Trial is set Oct. 6.

- Liban Muhidin, 21, of Cedar Rapids, pleaded guilty in July 2013 to conspiracy to commit a forcible felony and faces up to 10 years in prison. He admitted to conspiring with four others to arm themselves and shoot at the vehicle.

- Adrian M. Kenney, 23, of Cedar Rapids, pleaded guilty in October 2013 to perjury and accessory after fact. He faces up to 7 years in prison. He admitted to giving false information about the crime to police and disposing of evidence and helping others flee from the scene.

Both Kenney and Liban Muhidin will be sentenced after the other three trials.

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