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Scott County probationer facing attempted murder charge in Clinton for allegedly shooting his brother

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A Clinton man currently on probation in Scott County for being a felon in possession of a firearm in connection with a 2018 Bettendorf shooting is charged with attempted murder after Clinton Police allege he shot his brother in the chest early Friday.

Steve Donte Hester

Hester

Steve Donte Hester, 32, was arrested Tuesday on the attempted murder charge.

Attempted murder is a Class B Felony under Iowa law that carries an automatic prison sentence of 25 years, 70% of which must be served before parole can be granted. 

According to the arrest affidavit filed by Clinton Police Officer Alice Cain, at 12:51 a.m. Friday, officers were sent to the Nottingham West Apartments, 2715 South 18th St., for a report of shots fired.

Dispatch had received several calls from witnesses saying they heard about six gunshots outside the apartment complex, and informed officers that witnesses had found a victim with a gunshot wound to the chest.

Once on scene officers located a man with a gunshot wound to his chest with an exit wound on his back in front of apartment 208. The man told officers that his brother, Steve Hester, shot him.

The victim was taken to MercyOne Clinton Medical Center for treatment. His condition was not available Tuesday night.

According to Cain's affidavit, a witness who resides in the complex told officers that he was in his kitchen when he heard seven to eight gunshots. The witness told officers he then heard someone yelling for help and found the victim in front of apartment 208.

Another witness who resides in the complex told officers he heard two men arguing followed by gunshots.

Officers located shell casings on the sidewalk.

Hester was being held without bond Tuesday night in the Clinton County Jail pending a first appearance on the charge Wednesday in Clinton County District Court.

Hester is currently on probation in Scott County until Nov. 5, 2023, according to Iowa Department of Corrections electronic records.

He pleaded guilty to a charge of being a felon in possession of a firearm as a habitual offender in connection with the July 7, 2018, shooting of a man outside of the Village Inn in Bettendorf.

Hester had spent almost 20 months in the Scott County Jail awaiting trial on charges of attempted murder, willful injury causing serious injury, intimidation with a dangerous weapon and conspiracy to commit a forcible felony.

All of those charges were dropped in accordance with Hester’s plea of guilty on the gun charge. 

On Nov. 5, 2020, Scott County District Court Judge Patrick McElyea sentenced Hester to three years on probation. Hester also received a suspended 15-year prison sentence that would have had a three-year minimum. The prison sentence can be imposed if Hester fails to abide by the terms of his probation.

Assistant Scott County Attorney Caleb Rahn on Tuesday filed an application in Scott County District Court to revoke Hester’s probation based upon the Clinton attempted murder charge. 

According to the affidavits filed by Bettendorf Police Sgt. Brad Levetzow in connection with the shooting, police were sent to Village Inn, 1210 State St., at 4:22 a.m. that Saturday for a report of shots fired.

Upon arrival, officers found a man who had been struck by gunfire and had multiple wounds to his chest and one to his head.

The victim required cardiopulmonary resuscitation in the emergency room, and it took emergency surgery to save the man’s life.

Through an investigation, police identified three conspirators in the shooting: Hester, Antoine Omar Flournoy Jr., now 29, and Martell LaSean Roberts, now 38.

One of the conspirators left the restaurant when the victim arrived, waiting 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 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, were seen leaving the area together.

Police seized two handguns from Roberts' apartment. One of the weapons was connected to the shooting based on a comparison of shell casings and fired bullets. Police also put the three men together based on cell phone texts and surveillance video from the scene.

On May 7, 2021, Flournoy pleaded guilty to charges of conspiracy to commit a forcible felony as a habitual offender and possession of a firearm by a felon.

On June 24, 2021, Scott County District Court Judge Tamra Roberts sentenced Flournoy to 15 years in prison on the conspiracy conviction. He is not eligible for parole until he completes a minimum of three years in prison. Roberts also sentenced Flournoy to a concurrent term of five years in prison on the weapons conviction.

At the time of the shooting Flournoy was on probation in Scott County for being a felon in possession of a firearm. His probation was revoked and Roberts sentenced him to five years in prison. That sentence is concurrent to the sentences imposed in the shooting incident.

According to Iowa Department of Corrections electronic records, Flournoy currently is serving his prison sentence in the Mount Pleasant Correctional Facility. He is scheduled to be paroled on Nov. 1, 2026.

Roberts pleaded guilty to a charge of being a felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition in U.S. District Court, Davenport. On Oct. 2, 2019, he was sentenced to 100 months, or eight years and four months, in federal prison.

Roberts is currently being held in the U.S. Penitentiary in Atwater, California. He is scheduled to be released from the U.S. Bureau of Prisons on Dec. 17, 2025. He will then be required to serve three years on federal supervised release.

In connection with the Bettendorf shooting, Roberts pleaded guilty to the lesser included charge of conspiracy to commit a non-forcible felony. District Court Judge Jeffrey Bert sentenced Roberts to five years in prison to run concurrent with his federal sentence.

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