Bluffs man found guilty of 2nd degree murder

News

May 3rd, 2011 by Ric Hanson

A jury in Pottawttamie County, Monday, handed-down a “guilty” verdict against a Council Bluffs man in connection with the January 14th, 2011 stabbing death of 39-year old Tammy Rocha. 47-year old Clarence Woolsoncroft was found guilty of second-degree murder and two lesser crimes. 

He had faced charges of first-degree murder, first-degree kidnapping, first-degree robbery and conspiracy, but after eight hours of deliberations, jurors only found him guilty of second-degree murder, false imprisonment and willful injury causing serious injury. Second-degree murder carries a mandatory 50-year prison sentence. A mandatory minimum time of 70 percent of the sentence – or 35 years – must be served before being eligible for parole. The jury decided Woolsoncroft was not guilty of conspiracy. 

Woolsoncroft’s Attorney, Joseph Reedy said the jury’s decision would be appealed. Sentencing in the matter is scheduled for June 6th. 

Rocha was stabbed multiple times in January and found in the street near 35th Street and Fifth Avenue in Council Bluffs. Woolsoncroft, in a taped interview with Council Bluffs police detectives, said he took Rocha to a residence on Fifth Avenue on Jan. 14, because Lisa Reeves – who also faces murder charges – told him she would “make it worth his while.” He said he assumed she meant she would give him drugs or money. Woolsoncroft told investigators that he never saw anyone stab Rocha after he drove her to the scene of her death. 

Both Lisa Reeves – whom prosecutors allege stabbed Rocha – and her father, Bryan Reeves, face similar charges in the incident. Their trials are scheduled separately at a later date.