Benton Wingrove
Benton Wingrove
August 26, 2013

The 27-year-old Dow City man who was accused of murdering another man after a March bar fight will avoid a possible sentence of life in prison under a plea deal revealed on Friday, court records show.

Benton Wingrove allegedly killed Adam Lary, 29, of Dow City, when he fired a handgun more than a dozen times at Lary's vehicle in the early morning hours of March 16. One of the bullets struck Lary in the chest.

The men reportedly fought outside of the bar Cheers about 1 a.m. after an argument inside the bar. The shooting was reported about 40 minutes later several blocks away.

It's unclear what sparked the argument.

"I just shot my pistol at a car that swerved," Wingrove reportedly said in a 911 call.

Lary's car veered around a corner, accelerated for several blocks and crashed into a house. A witness who ran to help Lary told the Daily Times Herald that Lary was dead when they pulled him from the car.

Prosecutors charged Wingrove with first-degree murder but have agreed to three lesser felony charges for voluntary manslaughter, reckless use of a firearm and intimidation with intent and with a dangerous weapon, court records show.

All three are punishable by up to 10 years in prison. Crawford County Attorney Roger Sailer did not immediately return a telephone call to clarify whether Wingrove would serve the sentences consecutively, which means his total prison sentence would be 30 years.

Iowa inmates who are well-behaved are often released after serving about half of the total sentence. One of the felony charges would require Wingrove to be in prison for at least five years.

Lary's parents, who live in Dow City and saw their son shortly before he was shot, declined to comment today about the deal.

A court hearing in which a judge will sentence Wingrove is set for Sept. 27.