Carlton Douglas Jr.

Carlton Douglas Jr. Photo provided by the Clinton Police Department

CLINTON — A Clinton man has pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder in connection with a December shooting death at a Clinton convenience store.

Carlton Douglas Jr., 32, entered the plea at his arraignment in Clinton County District Court on Friday morning, according to court records. His trial is set for May 10, according to those records.

Douglas is accused of fatally shooting Cedrick D. Hood, 26, on Dec. 3 outside of Hop-N-Shop, 716 S. Fourth St. Hood was transported to MercyOne Clinton, where he was pronounced dead.

A first-degree murder warrant was issued shortly after Hood’s death, with Douglas taken into custody Jan. 3 at 520 N. 13th St., Clinton, after police learned of his whereabouts around 7:30 a.m. that day. About two hours later, officers went to the home and arrested Douglas, who was with Elisha Reed, who according to court records, Douglas called the night of Jan. 2 to ask if he could come over to the house that night.

Reed, who has 3-year-old daughter with Douglas, said he could come over. Reed said she knew Douglas was wanted for first-degree murder, but did not call police because he is the father of her child, the criminal complaint said.

Reed also was arrested and is set to be arraigned on a charge of accessory to a felony in connection with the case. Reed will be arraigned in Clinton County District Court at 9:15 a.m. Tuesday on the charge.

According to court documents detailing the shooting, Hood had pulled up to the store, with a female friend and her son in a vehicle, around 6:15 p.m. Dec. 3. The woman and her son got out of the vehicle, a Saturn Outlook, and went inside the store to use the ATM. Hood remained in the vehicle, which was parked by the convenience store’s front door. As he waited, another vehicle pulled up next to the Saturn Outlook’s driver’s side, and a passenger got out and fired into the Saturn, shooting Hood multiple times.

The woman who was with Hood told police she was at the ATM, which is located by the front door, when she heard five gunshots. She looked outside and saw a black male, whom she knew as “C”, get into the passenger side of a four-door car that was parked next to Hood. The vehicle and another car parked next to it left the lot and headed west together on Eighth Avenue South, court records state.

The woman explained to police that Hood about a week earlier had been kicked out of his previous girlfriend’s home and had been staying with her. She also reported that the alleged shooter, later identified as Douglas, had showed up at her home shortly after Hood moved into her place, had asked to see Hood and told the woman to tell Hood that he was looking for him. The woman told police she believed the former girlfriend, who has a child with Douglas, had ended her relationship with Hood and was again seeing Douglas. She also said the ex-girlfriend is pregnant with Hood’s child.

The court affidavit also details an incident that happened four days prior to the fatal shooting in which police were called to the 600 block alley between Sixth and Seventh avenues south in Clinton, where Douglas reported his car had been shot several times. At that time, Hood’s ex-girlfriend, who was with Douglas when talking to police, told police she is pregnant with Hood’s child and that she believed he was responsible for the damage to Douglas’s car.

Under Iowa Code, first-degree murder is a Class A felony that carries a mandatory life sentence with no possibility of parole. Douglas is being held in the Clinton County Jail, with bond set at $1 million, cash only.

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