CRESCO — A West Union man was arrested in connection with a Thursday morning death and standoff with police.

During the standoff, Brian Allen Fullhart, 34, allegedly fired at police with a compound bow. When officers searched his friend’s home after the standoff, they found Fullhart’s wife, 34-year-old Zoanne Fullhart, dead inside.

Brian Fullhart, who also lists an address in Decorah, was arrested for first-degree murder and going armed with indent. He allegedly told investigators he shot his wife “in cold blood,” according to court records.

Authorities said the Fullharts had been staying at a friend’s mobile home at 700 S. Elm St., No. 32, in Cresco for a few days.

Late Wednesday night or Thursday morning, the couple was in a back room when other people in the mobile home heard a gunshot, records state. They looked to see Brian Fullhart holding a gun and his wife with a gunshot wound, records state.

Police were called around 1:30 a.m., and when officers arrived, a witness recounted hearing an argument between Brian Fullhart and his wife and said Fullhart was armed with a handgun.

When police approached, Brian Fullhart told officers he would “shoot their heads off” and barricaded himself in the home. During the ensuing standoff, he shot at police with a compound bow, hitting a squad car at least once, records state.

Brian Fullhart surrendered around 6:45 a.m. and was taken into custody.

Authorities searching the home found Zoanne Fullhart dead inside, according to the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation.

The slaying came about a week after Brian Fullhart was released from jail on a burglary charge.


On Jan. 15, 2018, he was found with a bottle of alcohol inside the Echo Valley Event Center in West Union, which was downstairs from his apartment. He had unscrewed a piece of plywood that had been covering the doorway, records state. When the owner approached him, he ran off and apparently got into his wife’s vehicle in the parking lot outside.

Zoanne Fullhart allegedly attempted to stop officers from arresting her husband and tried to drive away. Brian Fullhart was shocked with a Taser and allegedly threatened West Union Police Chief Paul Becthold during the incident, court record state.

Brian Fullhart remained in jail until Feb. 21, when he was released on a personal recognizance bond.

Brian Fullhart had other recent encounters with law enforcement.

In January 2017, Fayette County sheriff’s deputies found him staggering near a vehicle in a ditch on 100th Street. When he failed to follow instructions, a deputy started to place him in handcuffs, and he allegedly turned and punched the deputy in the chest. A struggle broke out, and a second deputy helped restrain Fullhart, records state.

During the ride to jail, he allegedly kicked the inside of the squad car door, causing more than $500 in damage, records state.

Another altercation broke out as Fullhart was removed from the car at the jail. A detention officer shocked him with a Taser, and he kicked the detention officer, records state. A breath test registered a .037 blood-alcohol level, and deputies suspected he was also under the influence of illegal drugs, records state.

Then on Dec. 31, a West Union officer noticed Brian Fullhart driving a Mercury Sable near the city library and attempted to stop him on U.S. Highway 18 west of town for having a suspended license, court records state. He pulled over but then drove off when the officer approached the vehicle.

The chase led to a landscaping business where Fullhart worked. He entered the building and hid in a locked bathroom where he was eventually detained, records state.