Court documents reveal allegations around fatal shooting
BY CHUCK VANDENBERG
FORT MADISON – A Fort Madison teen charged in a Wednesday shooting on the city’s west side was apparently invited to the home by the boy he allegedly shot and killed.
Dimari D.J. Meredith is currently in custody at the Southeast Iowa Juvenile Detention Center after being charged in the shooting death of 15-year-old Deeunta Ceaser at Ceaser’s grandmother’s home in the 4200 block of Avenue L at just after 5 p.m. Nov. 3.
According to a criminal complaint filed in North Lee County Court Thursday, three different witnesses told police officers that Meredith and Ceaser were the only two in a bedroom in the home at the time of the shooting.
Officers reported that Meredith ran from the scene as Fort Madison Police and emergency crews were providing lifesaving measures. He was apprehended by additional police presence about two blocks from the scene.
The affidavit revealed that Meredith told officers during interviews at the police station that he had been kicked out of his home by his mother and walked to Ceaser’s grandmother’s home after calling the boy and asking him if he could come over.
The complaint says that Meredith initially said he was asleep in the room and didn’t know what happened. The affidavit indicated that Meredith then gave several other statements to police as to how the event transpired, before eventually allegedly confessing to officers that he had shot Ceaser while the boy was sitting at the foot of his bed.
Gun residue tests were performed on both of Meredith’s hands and both came back positive, according to Fort Madison Detective David Doyle, who completed the criminal complaint.
A search warrant executed at the residence turned up the gun, a Ruger 9mm semi-automatic pistol, and additional ammunition that matched a shell casing recovered at the scene.
Meredith is currently being held on a $1 million cash only bond. He is scheduled for a preliminary hearing on Nov. 12 at the North Lee County Courthouse. He is being charged with 1st degree murder.
District 8B Associate Judge Ty Rogers has appointed the public defender’s office to represent Meredith in the case.