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Davenport man charged in 2018 Village Inn shooting sentenced on federal gun charge

Davenport man charged in 2018 Village Inn shooting sentenced on federal gun charge


One of three men charged in connection with the July 2018 shooting of a man outside the Village Inn in Bettendorf was sentenced Wednesday to 100 months in federal prison on a gun charge.

Martell L. Roberts, 35, also must serve three years once he completes his prison sentence, U.S. District Judge Rebecca Goodgame Ebinger ordered. There is no parole in the federal system.

Roberts pleaded guilty in March to felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition in U.S. District Court, Davenport. 

The same month, Roberts and his co-defendants in the shooting, Antoine O. Flournoy Jr., 26, and Steve Donte Hester, 29, were hit with several charges, including attempted murder and conspiracy, in Scott County District Court in connection with the shooting at the Village Inn, 1210 State St.

According to arrest affidavits filed by Bettendorf police, officers responded at 4:22 a.m. for a report of shots fired and found a man who had been shot in the chest and head.

He was transported to Genesis Medical Center-East Rusholme Street and later airlifted to University Hospitals, Iowa City.

According to the affidavits, one of the suspects was in the restaurant when the man arrived. The suspect waited outside for 11 minutes before driving his Ford Mustang behind an adjoining business, the Dollar General.

Roberts, driving a Dodge Durango, dropped off Hester near the restaurant, then drove behind the Dollar General.

Hester and Flournoy came out from behind the dumpsters and opened fire on a group of people. One of the shooters advanced while the other remained in the parking lot firing.

The shooters eventually fled behind the Dollar General. About a minute later, the Mustang, Durango and a third car, a Nissan Altima, left the area together, according to the affidavits.

Police searched Roberts’ apartment on July 31, 2018, and found a loaded Remington .32-caliber semi-automatic handgun and a loaded Rhom RG Model 14 .22-caliber revolver in a black bag on top of the dryer, according to his plea agreement in the federal case.

The Remington, which was reported stolen out of Muscatine, was loaded with seven life rounds of .32-caliber ammunition in the magazine and one live round in the chamber. The other gun was fully loaded with six rounds of ammunition.

Three socks containing ammunition also were found in the bag. 

Roberts has prior felony convictions and is prohibited from owning or possessing a firearm or ammunition, according to the plea agreement.

The Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation criminalistics laboratory later determined that the Remington was used in the shooting, according to court documents.

The Scott County charges stemming from the shooting are still pending as of Thursday. Roberts has a status hearing Nov. 12 on the shooting charges in the Scott County case.

Hester, 29, of Davenport, also has a status hearing that day.

Flournoy has not been arrested as of Thursday.


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