OTTUMWA — Authorities have added a charge of attempted murder against Shain Major, who was charged last month with shooting at another man.

The charge is a Class B felony which, under Iowa law, carries up to 25 years in prison. That’s a significant increase in the potential prison time in the case. The initial charge, intimidation with a dangerous weapon, is a Class C felony with a potential sentence of 10 years.

Together, the charges carry a potential sentence of 35 years behind bars.

The events that led to Major’s arrest began July 28, when police received a report of a shot being fired in the 800 block of West Main Street. The police said was the target of the attack was not hit.

Major has faced charges in the area before. An Appanoose County case was dismissed last December at the prosecutors’ request, and a burglary case in Monroe County was dropped when the complainant moved and could not be located.

In other area cases:

Jacob Heckethorn’s trial on a charge of attempted murder was pushed back to February 2020. The court had previously scheduled it for later this month. The change means his trial in a separate murder case will take place first. It is scheduled to begin Nov. 5.

Burglary and arson charges against Carlos Morales have been set aside after an agreement for deferred prosecution was reached. The filing said Morales has agreed to follow multiple requirements for the next five years in exchange for the deferral.

Theresa Lomax pleaded guilty to possession of methamphetamine with intent to deliver. She received a 10-year suspended sentence, with five years’ probation.

Sentencing was scheduled for Sept. 23 for Tiffany McNeal, who previously entered a guilty plea to charges connected to a shootout with police last August. McNeal was not accused of firing at police, but of involvement in a burglary earlier in the day. Charges against two other defendants in the case remain pending.

— Matt Milner can be reached at and followed on Twitter @mwmilner


Managing Editor

Matt Milner currently serves as the Courier's Managing Editor. Milner is a trained weather spotter and is usually outside if there are storms. He joined the Courier in 2002.