Man sentenced to up to 92 years in prison for shooting Iowa deputy during robbery

Prosecutors said Stanley Donahue robbed two employees at a store and confined them in a cooler before shooting Linn County Deputy Will Halverson seven times


By Associated Press

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa — A Chicago man who was convicted of shooting and seriously wounding an Iowa sheriff's deputy during a convenience store robbery in 2021 has been sentenced to up to 92 years in prison.

Thirty-eight-year-old Stanley Donahue will have to serve at least 60 years before he is eligible for parole. He was sentenced Friday on multiple charges including attempted murder of a peace officer related to the shooting in Coggon, a town about 20 miles (32 kilometers) northeast of Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

Stanley Donahue will have to serve at least 60 years before he is eligible for parole.
Stanley Donahue will have to serve at least 60 years before he is eligible for parole. (Linn County Sheriff's Office via AP, File)

Prosecutors said Donahue robbed two employees at a Casey’s store and confined them in a cooler before shooting Linn County deputy Will Halverson seven times on June 20, 2021.

Donahue fled and was later arrested after a more than 12-hour manhunt that ended when he was spotted by a television news crew.

Halverson said at the sentencing hearing that the shooting had permanently affected his life even though he was able to return to work after he recovered from his injuries. On the night he was shot, Halverson said he thought he was going to die.

“It’s OK to feel scared about spending the rest of your life in prison,” Halverson said. “Use your time wisely. Use that time you have there to change your life for the better.”

But after Halverson's testimony, Donahue started making comments disrupting the hearing and cursing at the deputy. Donahue even mocked Halverson for becoming emotional during his testimony at trial.

Linn County Attorney Nick Maybanks said Donahue’s outburst and a comment he made to Halverson after his conviction in February shows he doesn’t feel any remorse. After his trial, Donahue looked at Halverson and his family and said “It should of been worse than what it was,” followed by an expletive.

“There’s no indication that Stanley Donahue won’t commit another horrific crime like this again if given an opportunity, and his criminal history demonstrates he will,” Maybanks said.

Judge Christopher Bruns said he believed there was little chance of rehabilitating Donahue after he had spent much of his adult life in prison and his crimes continued to escalate over the years.

Donahue declined to make a statement at his sentencing hearing.

One of the former convenience store clerks, Madelyn Stepanek, also told the judge that the robbery was the “scariest night I have ever experienced,” and it forever changed how safe she feels in the community she grew up in.

"After that night it felt as though a part of my identity and life that I had known was taken away,” Stepanek said. “These crimes flipped our community in a drastic way and it hurt me along with my family for a lifetime.”

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