Bettendorf man convicted in 2014 fatal crash returns to jail

Local News

A 25-year-old Bettendorf man, sentenced in 2015 in connection with the death of an 18-year-old woman in a vehicle crash, faces new charges for having methamphetamine in Scott County Jail and using a crowbar on a neighbor’s door.

Connor Speer faces charges of possession of contraband in a correctional institution, a felony, and fourth-degree criminal mischief and disorderly conduct, both misdemeanors.

The Sunday incident

According to the arrest affidavit, shortly after 4:30 p.m. Sunday, Speer “without provocation” struck and damaged his neighbor’s front door with a crowbar multiple times in the area of Devils Glen Road and Belmont Road.

The complainant identified Speer and told Bettendorf police he was scared at the time of the incident.

Officers say Speer still had the crowbar inside his pants near his right arm, but Speer denied causing any of the damage to the door. The crowbar was similar in size to the marks on the front door.

Officer spoke with the property manager of the apartments, and the damage will be more than $300 but not more than $750.

When Speer was being brought to Scott County Jail, an officer asked him if he had anything illegal on his person that officers missed during the initial search, and Speer said no.

In the pre-booking area of the jail, correctional officers searched Speer and found a small, clear plastic bag balled up in his pocked.

The bag had white methamphetamine residue.

In 2014

When Speer was 19, he pleaded guilty to operating a vehicle while intoxicated and vehicular homicide by reckless driving after a crash Nov. 24, 2014.

The arrest affidavit says Davenport police responded to a fatal crash at the intersection of 53rd Street and Brady Street on Highway 61 North

Speer was driving a Dodge Grand Caravan east on 53rd Street and, based on multiple witness statements, failed to stop or yield at a red light on Brady Street and collided with a tractor/trailer headed north.

The tractor/trailer broadsided the Caravan. Speer’s passenger, an 18-year-old woman, died in the crash.

Multiple witnesses to the crash from different directions said the light for northbound traffic was green and the light for westbound traffic was red.

By ambulance, Speer was taken from the scene to Genesis East Medical Center. His clothing smelled of burned marijuana.

A “sizeable amount” of marijuana packaged for sale was found in the Caravan.

Speer was evaluated by a certified drug recognition expert and was found to exhibit indications of impairment.

The results of his urine test as reported by the Iowa DCI (Division of Criminal Investigation) Crime Lab tested positive for alprazolam (Xanax), an anti-depressant, and marijuana, which combined are known to produce a “prolonged and pronounced marijuana high, with side effects known to be dizziness, drowsiness, difficulty concentrating and impairment thinking and judgment.”

In 2015, he was sentenced to the Iowa Department of Corrections.

Current status

Speer was being held Monday in Scott County Jail on $5,000 secured bond. He is set for a preliminary hearing at 10 a.m. Dec. 3.

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