Archive for  March 16th 2019

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DES MOINES, Iowa — Three words: Mr. Bibbs Tenderloins.  “I came with my grandparents every Friday night,” said Jamie Zaboo.  Edward Barker added, “They are perfect, they’re perfect and crunchy and indescribable.”  Julie Fife said, “He pounds them here himself.”

It’s one of the reasons the news of owner John Essex’s death is catching so many like Edward Barker by surprise.  “The people, they are just helpful. It’s like a family,” he said.

Essex’s family tells Channel 13 the death is related to injuries he sustained in a December house fire that left John and his wife, Kathy, badly burned.  The death has now closed Mr. Bibbs for an undetermined time, but it is not just the food that will be missed. It will hit the community a lot and especially with the school kids.

Des Moines North High School is across the street from Mr. Bibbs.  The owners made sure to have affordable lunch prices for students on their break, making it an instant North High staple.  Fife said, “It was the $5 lunch.  That’s what they wanted, was to be able to get the kids to come over here that would otherwise drive off campus to go somewhere else.”

Barker also remembers John’s selflessness when he was having car battery trouble in the street near the restaurant.  “He came over and helped me while he was still working.  He didn’t have to. He didn’t know me from anyone,” said Barker.

To many who frequent it, Mr. Bibbs is more than a restaurant and John Essex was more than just an owner.  “It’s just sad you know.  You love these people that make a difference in your life and then they have to pass on.  It’s such tragedy,” Barker said.

Funeral arrangements have been set for John Essex.  The family will receive friends from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, March 17 at Iles Westover Chapel.  Funeral services will be 11 a.m. Monday, March 18 at the funeral home.

COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa — The prosecution rested its case on Friday after watching and listening to hours of interrogations and interviews with the defendant, Jason Carter.

Marion County Attorney Ed Bull called two Iowa DCI Criminalists and law enforcement to the stand.

Criminalist Anna Young examined the finger prints on certain pieces of evidence in this case.

One of those pieces of evidence is the gun safe from the Carter home that has become a centerpiece in the case.

She said out of the 55 prints on the gun safe, 31 of them are Jason Carter’s.

At one point during the investigation, Jason denied knowing about the safe, “I’ve never touched the gun safe. I’ve never touched the ammunition ever. I didn’t even know he had gun safe until just recently.”

Criminalist Victor Murillo talked about the bullet fragments and bullets he found at the scene and during the investigation.

Bull asked Murillo, “Were you able to come to a conclusion as to how many rounds were fired in this case?” Murillo responded, “Yeah, so by looking at all of the bullet fragments, I determined that they were the result of two bullets that were fired.”

Murillo said in his findings the murder weapon could possibly be a .270 rifle, like the one that was missing from the Carter home when the guns were seized.

The jury also heard from Marion County Sheriff’s Department Lt. Brian Bigaouette, who showed previous interrogation and interview videos of Jason Carter.

In one of the clips, Jason talked about his finances.

“With the amount of grain I had left over, carried over to sell out, I was probably around $50,000. If I had to pay my note back that day, I would have been $50,000 short,” Jason said.

In another clip, Jason emotionally described the moment he found his mother dead on the kitchen floor.

“I took two or three more steps inside and she was laying there. And I knelt down and I grabbed her pant leg and shook it and said, ‘Mom.’ You know, hoping she would respond somehow,” Jason said.

In both video and audio clips that were heard in court on Friday, law enforcement and attorneys asked Jason similar questions on different days and his answer wasn’t always the same.

One thing that has remained the same throughout is after he found his mom dead, he called his sister, Jana Lain, and then called 911.

“I don’t know know who killed my mom or what happened to her. I am telling you the truth on that. I’ll tell it to you, like I said, forever,” Jason said.

Jason says sometime after finding his mother and making phone calls, he then put his second cell phone, that he texted his mistress on, in the fuse box under the hood of his truck.

Bigaouette testified that he was there on the day when photos were taken under the hood of Jason’s truck to see if a cell phone and a .270 rifle, believed to be the murder weapon, would fit there.

Bull asked Bigaouette, “Did it fit?” Bigaouette responded, “Yes.” Bull followed with, “Would the hood latch?” And Bigaouette replied, “Yes.” Bull then finished with, “Would the placement of that firearm prevent the vehicle from operating as designed?” Bigaouette answered, “I don’t believe so. The vehicle wasn’t started once the hood was closed, but it appeared there was no obstruction or it didn’t obstruct the engine in any way.”

After Bigaouette was dismissed, the prosecution rested and the judge dismissed the jury.

Outside the presence of the jury, defense attorneys and state attorneys discussed emails from one of the Iowa DCI investigators on the case with Judge Brad McCall.

The defense claims information in the emails is evidence of bias against Jason Carter.

They also talked about the defense’s motion to dismiss, to which McCall replied that the court will take the emails under advisement and Bull has the opportunity to respond by Monday.

The defense also asked for a directed verdict, which McCall denied.

Court is scheduled to reconvene at 9 a.m. at the Pottawattamie County Courthouse on Monday, starting with the defense’s case.