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Waterloo man sentenced to prison in fatal bicycle beating of 72-year-old

WATERLOO – A Waterloo man has been sentenced to prison for beating a 72-year-old maintenance man to death with a child’s bicycle when he lost his temper in 2018.

Martavis Tayshon Wise, 30, was originally charged with second-degree murder in the slaying of Johannes Rodenburgh of Waterloo.

On Friday, Wise pleaded guilty as part of an agreement to a reduced charge of voluntary manslaughter with a dangerous weapon as well as related charges of going armed, willful injury causing serious injury and assault while participating in a felony.

Because of prior felony convictions, Wise received sentencing enhancements that increased his time behind bars.

Under the plea agreement, Judge Brad Harris sentenced Wise to up to 60 years in prison with a mandatory 14 years before any possible parole.

Johannes Rodenburgh’s relatives said they hope that day never comes.

“You shouldn’t walk a free step in your life. You’re a murderer and a coward,” brother Ron Rodenburgh said during Friday’s hearing.


Martavis Tayshon Wise enters the courtroom for a plea and sentencing hearing on Friday, Sept. 24, 2021.

“We will be in prison the rest of our lives because of the loss of our dad,” his oldest daughter Monica Engeltjes said. “We lost our dad to this senseless act of violence.”

She remembered her father as a “young” 72-year-old who was an active hiker and bicyclist who could fix anything.

“He was an adventurer, loved the outdoors,” said brother Mike Rodenburgh.

Johannes Rodenburgh

Johannes Rodenburgh 

Wise declined to speak in court.

Johannes Rodenburgh had worked as a maintenance man at the apartment complex at 1236 W. Mullan Ave. where Wise’s girlfriend lived. According to police, Wise kicked in the door to her apartment and walked inside June 13, 2018.

Johannes Rodenburgh later came by to look at the damaged door and talk to the tenant. Wise returned while Rodenburgh was there and attacked him, punching him and knocking him to the ground and then kicking him in the head and body, according to court records.

Wise then walked over to a child’s bike nearby, picked it up and slammed it on top of him, records state.

Johannes Rodenburgh suffered a broken neck and other injuries and remained hospitalized until he died June 19, 2018.

During the police interview, Wise allegedly told investigators he was having a bad day and lost his temper, according to court records.


Judge Brad Harris, center, sentenced Martavis Wise, right, to up to 60 years in prison for voluntary manslaughter and other charges in the 2018 death of Johannes Rodenburgh on Friday, Sept. 24, 2021.


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Related to this story

Johannes Rodenburgh was born May 8, 1946 in Nieuw-Vennep, Holland. Son of Leonard “Lane” and Wilmina Baartse Rodenburgh. He attended Sioux Cen…

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