Des Moines Father Says Son’s Prison Sentence is Too Harsh for Involvement

DES MOINES, Iowa  --  Terrance Cheeks Sr. fears the worst for his son, who now faces first degree murder charges on top of his convicted first degree robbery charges. The additional charges come after autopsy results show Mike Wasike died from the injuries sustained in the 2013 assault. Terrence Jr. is currently serving a 50-year prison sentence at the Anamosa State Penitentiary.

"I don't condone anything that happened, but I just thought that his involvement should have resulted in a lesser sentence than what the other two received."

Cheeks say his son, who was 15 years old at the time, had the least amount of involvement in the assault of Wasike. He says his son did not bring the gun and did not use it it hit Wasike in the back of the head. Cheeks says his son's prison sentence should reflect that.

"There were three levels of involvement that night. Kenny Barry had the gun, Lashaun Murray used the gun, and when the incident happened my son asked, 'why did you hit him?'"

Murray was also convicted of first degree robbery and now faces the additional first degree murder charge. Barry, the other teen involved, will not face additional charges. After taking a plea deal, he is serving 20 years for second degree robbery and conspiracy to commit a forcible felony.

The Cheeks family says prison isn't the place in which their son should spend the rest of his life.

"We never saw him graduate out of high school. He had big dreams of going to college."

If convicted on first degree murder charges, the Polk County Attorney's Office says both Cheeks and Murray could face life in prison with the possibility for parole.