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Cedar Rapids man who tried to jump over courthouse railing gets 10-year sentence

Trish Mehaffey, CR Gazette –

A man who attempted to jump over the railing on the top floor of the Linn County Courthouse after being convicted for kidnapping a woman last year was sentenced Tuesday to 10 years in prison.

Jabari Walker, 32, of Cedar Rapids, was convicted by a jury last August of third-degree kidnapping, a lesser offense of the original charge first-degree kidnapping. Sixth Judicial District Judge Nancy Baumgartner sentenced him to the mandatory 10-year prison term.

Walker will also be listed on the state’s sex offender registry for 10 years after serving his term. and the no-contact order for the victim will be extended for five years.

Walker declined to speak before he was sentenced.

According to trial testimony, Walker drove a 42-year-old woman against her will to an abandoned farmhouse on Alburnett Road May 6 and sexually assaulted her.

Walker’s sentencing was delayed for months. After the verdict was read last August, and while still in handcuffs, Walker was led out of the courtroom by deputies. He then made his way to the railing and tried to lunge over it, but the deputies quickly reacted and pulled him back to safety.

While he was in jail, Walker quit eating, lost 65 pounds and went into a catatonic state, according to court records. The sentencing was postponed until a psychological evaluation was conducted, which found him competent.

Baumgartner also denied Walker’s motion for a new trial.

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