DES MOINES, Iowa — A disgruntled former worker at a Des Moines trucking company shot and killed two current employees, police say.
Police identified the victims of the Thursday night shooting in south Des Moines as Serif Hidic, 30, and Robert Smoot, 49. Both were found dead after police responded to a 911 emergency call at an address used by Seibert Trucking. The dispatcher heard a struggle and gunshots. When officers arrived they found the two bodies.
Police arrested Ronald J. Hawkinson, 39, in Winterset Thursday night and charged him with two counts of first-degree murder.
Hawkinson was in the Polk County jail. He appeared before a judge Friday morning. Bond was set at $500,000. A public defender was approved, but an attorney had not yet been assigned to represent him.
Police also arrested Hawkinson's girlfriend, Rhonda Plew, 41. Police aren't saying exactly how she's involved except to say that investigators believe she aided Hawkinson. She was charged with accessory after the fact. She is in the Madison County Jail.
Court records indicate Hawkinson was serving a two-year probation sentence after pleading guilty to a domestic abuse assault case resulting from an October 2010 incident. He was sentenced in March 2011 to two years in prison but the sentence was suspended and he was placed on probation. He also was ordered to complete a batterer's treatment program. A no-contact order was issued to protect his wife.
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Court records show he served seven days in jail for a violation of the order in October 2010.
A divorce was approved in May 2011.
In March this year his former wife applied to have the no-contact order continued.
Madison County Attorney Julie Forsyth said she does not know Hawkinson but she did prosecute the domestic abuse case, which did not go to trial because he signed a plea agreement.
"I just know that a year ago or so he was in here and that was the charge and he did plead guilty," she said. "My understanding is he followed the rules of probation because had he not there would have been a report of violation filed. At least up until this point he followed them."
She said at the time of that case Hawkinson was a truck driver.
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