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OTTUMWA — The man accused by authorities of being behind a string of thefts in Ottumwa and Agency faces charges filed as more than 20 separate court cases stemming from the investigation.

Darian Gideon, 22, was arrested last week after the Wapello County Sheriff’s Department connected him to thefts from vehicles in Agency on Feb. 12 and on Feb. 18 just outside Ottumwa. He was caught after a brief chase when deputies spotted him in a stolen truck.

In all, Gideon faces nine felony cases covering three counts of second-degree theft, a Class D felony; two counts of second-degree burglary, a Class C felony; and three counts of third-degree burglary, a Class D felony. Those carry the potential for as much as 50 years in prison

But the most serious charge is a single count of ongoing criminal conduct. That’s a Class B felony under Iowa law, carrying a potential sentence of up to 25 years in prison. The criminal complaint filed on that charge accused Gideon of “15-20 Burglaries for the purpose of financial gain,” which shared common details and indicated “an intentional pattern of criminal behavior.”

Gideon also faces 13 additional cases that accuse him of aggravated misdemeanors and seven simple misdemeanors.

In other area cases:

• Zachary Barr’s trial on charges of sexual exploitation of a minor has been pushed back again. The trial had been scheduled for March but will now begin May 19.

• Jacob Heckethorn’s trial on attempted murder charges has also been delayed from March to May 19.

• Dalton Cook, one of two men facing charges in an August 2018 shootout with police, has been charged with possession of contraband while awaiting trial in the Wapello County Jail. It is the second contraband charge since Cook’s arrest.

• Shain Major’s attorney asked the court to authorize a pre-plea investigation usually completed in advance of a defendant’s sentencing. Major was charged with attempted murder but has reached an agreement to plead guilty to intimidation with a dangerous weapon and receive a 10-year sentence. His plea hearing, which will include sentencing, is scheduled for March 23.

• Joseph Ward, who faced charges of conspiracy to manufacture more than five grams of methamphetamine, manufacturing marijuana, failure to affix a drug tax stamp and child endangerment, has accepted a plea agreement. His hearing is scheduled for March 23.

Matt Milner can be reached at mmilner@ottumwacourier.com and followed on Twitter @mwmilner

Matt Milner can be reached at mmilner@ottumwacourier.com and followed on Twitter @mwmilner

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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.

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