WATERLOO – Bond for an Evansdale man charged in the Sunday hit-and-run death of a Waterloo high school student has been upped to $50,000 cash-only following a Wednesday morning court appearance.
“The state has major concerns with Mr. Gordon. The fact of the matter is he left a 16-year-old kid to die. He is a substantial danger to the community,” said Black Hawk County Attorney Brian Williams. “The allegations in this case are he had been cited and released for driving moments before getting back in the vehicle and striking the 16-year-old.”
Williams noted the driver, 22-year-old Brandon Don Gordon, is currently on parole for a Cedar Rapids shooting and also was charged with a driving offense in November.
Bond for Gordon in the hit-and-run case was originally set at $15,000.
Gordon’s defense attorney, Craig Ament, said officers had ticketed his client moments before Sunday’s fatal crash and then let him go.
“He was told when he was given a citation for driving while suspended to drive home, and that’s what he was in the process of doing,” Craig Ament told the court.
Williams said the state contests Ament’s statement. He said Gordon had been told not to drive.
Gordon is charged with leaving the scene of a fatal crash, a Class D felony that carries up to five years in prison upon conviction. He is accused of driving off after striking 16-year-old Tayshaun Jenkins early Sunday.
Court records show police ticketed Gordon for driving while suspended at about 3:55 a.m. Sunday in the 500 block of Elm Street after finding his Toyota Camry parked in the street and running.
The accident is believed to have happened a short time later, and Tayshaun was found dead at about 8:18 a.m. in the area of Vinton and Courtland streets, about four blocks from the traffic stop.
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Ament said his client wasn’t aware he had hurt anyone.
“There was something bent over in the road. He tried to miss it and didn’t believe that he hit anybody causing serious injury,” Ament said.
Investigators found a piece of broken side-view mirror at the scene that was consistent with Gordon’s Toyota, said Maj. Joe Leibold with the Waterloo Police Department.
Court records indicate Gordon, who knew Tayshaun, called Tayshaun’s parents and admitted to hitting him. Police also talked to a passenger in the vehicle who said Gordon was driving north on Vinton at the time of the crash. The passenger allegedly told Gordon they should stop to see what was struck, but he allegedly refused because he wasn’t supposed to be driving.
He also allegedly told the passenger not to tell anyone what happened, court records state.
Meanwhile, corrections officials said they anticipate filing probation violations in Gordon’s Cedar Rapids shooting case in Linn County District Court.
In that matter, Gordon was originally charged with attempted murder for allegedly opening fire on a SUV in a Center Point Road gas station parking lot in the middle of the day Sept. 19, 2014. Police said he was trying to hit a 19-year-old man inside the vehicle but instead struck an 18-year-old woman.
Gordon, formerly of Marion, pleaded guilty to willful injury causing bodily injury, intimidation with weapon and assault with intent to commit serious injury in February 2015 and was sentenced to 15 years in prison and placed on work release and parole in 2018.
In July, Waterloo police pulled him over for a window tint violation and arrested him after finding marijuana in the vehicle’s cup holder. Then in November he was pulled over for speeding in Waterloo and cited for driving while suspended.