WATERLOO – Police said they identified a Waterloo man involved in the holdup of a liquor store in January with the help of a surveillance video at the shop.

Trial for Marlon Derrell Harris Jr. continued Wednesday with police officers taking the stand to recount finding the counter area of Ali’s West Side Liquor, 919 W. Fifth St., in disarray when they arrived on Jan. 8.

“There appeared to be a fight or a tussle where most of the counter stuff was knocked over,” said Officer Keaton Northrup of the Waterloo Police Department. The store’s cash register was on the floor, and merchandise from shelves was scattered around, he said.

Northrup said two store employees said two suspects had entered the store around 9:35 p.m. and made demands. One of the men had a handgun tucked into his waistband that he reached for a number of times but never drew. He took a bottle of liquor and cigarettes from the store.

Court records indicate Harris is suspected of being the gunman.

Prosecutors said after the suspects held up the store, they went to Kwik Star on West Ninth Street where they drove off in a pickup truck that was left running outside and then carried tools from the truck to an apartment on Wellington Street.

Harris was arrested on Jan. 13 near the Wellington Street apartment building, and officers found a glass pipe in his jacket pocket that appeared to have methamphetamine residue.

Harris, 28, is charged with first-degree robbery for the holdup, first-degree theft for removing tools from the truck and possession of meth for residue found in the pipe. He has waived his right to a jury trial, allowing Judge Brad Harris to render a verdict at the close of trial, which will continue today.

The state also is seeking sentencing enhancements under habitual offender statues, which will be the subject of a separate trial.

The other person arrested in the case, Daniel Joseph Buenneke, 25, pleaded guilty to first-degree theft, operating a vehicle without owner’s consent and a reduced charge of second-degree robbery, and in April he was sentenced to up to 30 years in prison with a seven-year mandatory minimum.


Police and Courts Reporter

Cops and courts reporter for the Courier

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