A Moline man charged a second time in the fatal shooting of a tattoo artist in 2013 has pleaded not guilty.
Yolanduis L. McDuffie, 23, made his plea Tuesday after Rock Island County Judge Frank Fuhr ruled that there was enough probable cause to bind the case over for trial during a short preliminary hearing at the Rock Island County Justice Center.
McDuffie, charged with two counts of first-degree murder, will be back in court Jan. 27 for a pretrial conference.
He already is serving up to 15 years in prison in Iowa for the fatal shooting of a Davenport man in 2015.
McDuffie will remain at the Rock Island County Jail on a $1.5 million bond until his case is resolved.
Just before noon Dec. 18, 2013, Rock Island police were dispatched to the home of Derek J. Jackson in the 1000 block of 16th Avenue.
Police found Jackson, 24, lying on his back in the dining room. He had two gunshot wounds to the head and one gunshot wound to his left arm, Detective Chad Sowards testified during McDuffie's preliminary hearing.
He was pronounced dead at a local hospital.
According to Sowards:
Jackson's girlfriend told police that he had talked about purchasing a handgun from Aaron D. Henderson II prior to the shooting.
The girlfriend, who was upstairs with Jackson's young son, said she went downstairs after the shooting and saw Henderson standing over Jackson and rifling through his pockets.
She said she ran back upstairs and saw Henderson and another person, later identified as his then 16-year-old cousin, fleeing the scene.
Henderson was arrested later that night.
On Jan. 8, 2014, police interviewed Henderson’s cousin, who said the two and McDuffie went to Jackson’s house to buy marijuana. The teen told police that McDuffie pulled out a black semi-automatic handgun and fired at Jackson.
Police later interviewed Henderson’s brother, also a juvenile, who said he was at a gas station with Henderson, their cousin and McDuffie prior to the shooting.
The gas station is about a block away from Jackson’s house.
McDuffie was arrested Jan. 10, 2014, on an outstanding parole warrant. Police seized a black coat and his cellphone. Police searched the phone and found a text message at 9:47 a.m. Dec. 18 from McDuffie, who said he was at Henderson’s house.
McDuffie’s cellphone also “pinged” at two cellphone towers close to Jackson’s house before and after the shooting.
McDuffie’s then-girlfriend told police in late January 2014 that he had been at her home on the day of the shooting and had left between 9 and 10 a.m. and returned at 12:30 or 1 p.m.
The woman said McDuffie was not wearing shoes and his socks were wet when he returned to her house.
She told police that McDuffie told her that he was with Henderson and his cousin at Jackson’s house at the time of the shooting but did not know who fired the gun.
She further told police that McDuffie seemed confused and described him as being scared and shook up, Sowards testified.
McDuffie initially was charged with first-degree murder in Jackson’s death, but prosecutors dropped the charges on Jan. 6, 2015, the day his trial was scheduled to begin.
The case was dismissed without prejudice, meaning charges could be refiled at any time. There is no statute of limitation for a murder charge.
Rock Island County prosecutors recharged him in August 2015 after investigators found a handgun they believe was used to kill Jackson.
Sowards, under questioning from defense attorney Dora Villarreal, said Tuesday that he believed the gun was recovered from a hotel room in Bettendorf. The gun was handed over the police department in May 2015, he said.
Sowards said the gun was sent to the state crime lab for testing, which determined that it matched the shell casings recovered from the scene.
He said he did not know who rented the room where the gun was located.
McDuffie had been in the Rock Island County Jail from May 7, 2015, to May 21, 2015, on a felony charge of aggravated battery of a police officer in an unrelated case.
He was arrested several days later on drug charges in Scott County.
Sowards testified that McDuffie’s fingerprints were not found at Jackson’s house.
McDuffie appeared on the newly filed charges Dec. 17.
He pleaded guilty earlier this year to voluntary manslaughter and possession of a firearm by a felon in Scott County District Court and was sentenced to up to 15 years in prison in the April 2015 shooting death of James Goode Jr., 33, of Davenport.
Henderson, 24, was found guilty of one count of first-degree murder in connection with Jackson's death and was sentenced to 40 years in prison.
The jury rejected prosecutors’ theory that Henderson pulled the trigger but were convinced that Henderson was an accomplice in Jackson’s death.