OTTUMWA — Two men face charges after citizens found an injured person early Aug. 17 in Wildwood Park.

Ottumwa Police Investigator Steve Kovacs said Friday that Shawn Lee Roberts, 31, of Keokuk has been charged with second-degree robbery, a class C felony; and, Jeramia K. Gillespie, 22, 311 Carlisle St., has been charged with accessory after the fact (second-degree robbery), which is an aggravated misdemeanor.

On Thursday8-24, the case led police investigators to Keokuk where, with the assistance of the Keokuk Police Department and the Lee County Sheriff’s Office, Roberts was arrested for second-degree robbery and transported back to Ottumwa.

Kovacs said the case started at 8:45 a.m., Aug. 17 when police received a call from citizens who were walking in the park. They reported finding an injured person who had collapsed on the park’s south hill.

In his complaint filed with Wapello County Magistrate Court, Kovacs alleged Roberts “assaulted the victim by kicking him in the face,” which caused serious injury; and, “proceeded to steal $400, a cell phone, and other items from the victim.”

Then, Kovacs said, Roberts “fled the scene and left the victim lying injured on the ground.”

Gillespie “was present” while Roberts robbed and assaulted the victim, according to Kovacs. And, he also alleged Gillespie did “knowingly observe an assault ... for the purpose of committing a theft of the victim’s U.S. currency.”

Kovacs’ complaint also noted Gillespie “assisted [Roberts] by driving him from the scene of the robbery and assisting [Roberts] in disposing of the cell phone.”

Gillespie failed to notify law enforcement of the robbery and failed to notify emergency services of the victim’s condition and location, Kovacs noted. And, Gillespie went into hiding as a result of the robbery, he added.

Officers also charged Gillespie with possession of drug paraphernalia. After his arrest on Wednesday, Gillespie gave consent for officers to search his bags.

Kovacs noted on his complaint that he found two needles and a spoon in a small bag and Gillespie “admitted that the items were his” and “admitted he is an I.V. drug user.”

Officers also arrested Gillespie on warrants for probation violation and fifth-degree theft.

On Thursday, Gillespie made his initial appearance in magistrate court. Judge Lloyd Keith set a preliminary hearing for the accessory charge for 10 a.m. Sept. 1. The paraphernalia and theft charges will be set for review due to the other pending charge.

Gillespie’s total bond was noted as $13,650.

On Friday, Roberts made his initial appearance and Keith set the preliminary hearing for 10 a.m. Sept. 5. Keith set his bond at $30,000.

As of late Friday afternoon, Wapello County Jail officials verified Roberts and Gillespie were still in custody.

Kovacs said the incident is still under investigation.

Cindy Toopes can be reached at (641) 683-5376 or via e-mail at


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