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Men charged in Iowa triple homicide seek separate trials

May 17, 2021 GMT

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A judge has ruled that three men charged in the shooting death of three Des Moines teens will be tried together.

Emmanuel Totaye Jr., Daishawn Gills and Leontreal Jones had all filed motions seeking separate trials for first-degree murder in the January 2020 deaths of two brothers and their friend. Polk County Judge David Porter last week granted prosecutors’ motion to try the men’s cases together, the Des Moines Register reported.

Officers found the bodies of brothers Devonte Swanks, 19, and Malachi Swanks, 16, and a friend, 15-year-old Thayne Wright. on Jan. 30 in a southeast Des Moines duplex after responding to reports of shots fired. Police believe robbery was the motive, and investigators say they found items belonging to the victims at the home of two of the suspects.

A new date for the consolidated trial has not yet been set.