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Charges upgraded to first-degree murder in 2019 slaying in Cedar Falls

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Crime scene tape blocks the entrance to Los Cabos restaurant after a shooting in an apartment above businesses in the 100 block of Main Street on Wednesday night.

CEDAR FALLS – Authorities have upgraded charges against two people suspected in the December 2019 fatal robbery attempt in a downtown apartment.

On Monday, Cedar Falls police announced they filed first-degree murder charges against 20-year-old Keyon Christian Roby and 22-year-old James Wright-Buls. Bond was set at $1 million each.

The arrests pertain to the Dec. 4, 2019, slaying of 24-year-old Grant Saul at Saul’s upstairs apartment at 112 Main St.

Both Roby and Wright-Buls had been detained in January 2020 on conspiracy charges in connection with the slaying.

A third person arrested in the case, Marquas Tyrese Gafeney, is also awaiting trial on robbery charges. Prosecutors previously stated in court records it appeared Gafeney provided the gun that killed Saul and was present during the holdup.

Court records allege the three went to Saul’s apartment around 9 p.m. as part of a robbery plan. One person was armed with a handgun, and the suspects began gathering everyone in the apartment into the living room.

One of the occupants was taken into the kitchen and beaten, and Saul drew a handgun he had hidden. Roby fired at least three shots, striking Saul, according to court records. Saul died at the scene, and police found spent 9 mm shell casings in the apartment.

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