Car chase led to homicide
July 5, 2013
Adam Lary's car was rammed by another car from behind as he drove on the south side of Dow City, a witness reported, not long before a man he had fought earlier that March night allegedly fired his handgun more than a dozen times at Lary's car and killed him.
The car that chased Lary - described by the witness as a small, black vehicle - matches that of one owned by Dave Wingrove, whose black Nissan was found in Wingrove's Dow City driveway with damage to its front, according to court records that shed new light on the incident.
Wingrove is the uncle of Benton Wingrove, 27, who is charged with first-degree murder for Lary's March 16 death. Lary, 29, was killed by a bullet that struck him in the chest.
"Dave advised special agents ... that he has a reputation for being a tough guy," according to a search warrant application that investigators used to get the Wingroves' cellphone records from that night.
Benton Wingrove allegedly confronted Lary at the bar Cheers about 1 that morning. Witnesses say the men had a heated argument and went to fight outside, where Wingrove was seen on top of Lary, punching him.
Lary left after the fight, and Wingrove briefly returned to the bar, where he apparently retrieved a handgun he had stowed near the cash register.
Benton and Dave Wingrove talked by cellphone for about seven minutes starting at 1:13 that morning. The witness saw the ramming car at about 1:15 a.m. The shooting was reported at about 1:40 a.m.
Court documents do not reveal what the Wingroves' conversation entailed, but Dave Wingrove told investigators that he was driving to Harrah's Casino in Council Bluffs at the time. He has not been charged with a crime related to the homicide.
Dave Wingrove bought the car from Benton Wingrove, the documents show.
Lary's parents told the Daily Times Herald that Lary stopped at their house between the bar fight and shooting and said that people wanted to hurt him, but he was not specific about the threat. His parents later heard gunshots near their house and Lary's speeding car as it accelerated down their street and crashed into a house.
"I just shot my pistol at a car that swerved," Benton Wingrove reportedly said in a 911 call.
A man who witnessed the crash told the Times Herald that he and some friends pulled Lary from his car. Blood spilled from Lary's mouth and head, and the Lary didn't breathe. He was later pronounced dead at Crawford County Memorial Hospital in Denison.
A sheriff's deputy who first responded to the shooting and crash found Wingrove standing along U.S. Highway 30 with his handgun lying on the ground nearby.
As the deputy questioned Wingrove, another man, Tim Mitchell, who has said he was Wingrove's childhood friend, approached "and stated that he had received a disturbing call and wanted to make sure that Wingrove was OK," according to court records. "Mitchell told Wingrove to not say anything and to plead the Fifth."
People can invoke the Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and remain silent when their words might incriminate themselves.
Investigators also retrieved with a warrant Mitchell's cellphone records from the day of the shooting.
Wingrove's murder trial is set for Sept. 10. He faces life in prison if convicted.
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