A Manchester man who shot at two people was sentenced last week to 15 years in prison but only after he tried to retract his previously entered
plea. Kenneth W. Noble, 34, was sentenced by Iowa District Court Judge Melissa Anderson-Seeber on convictions of intimidation with a dangerous weapon and assault on persons in certain occupations. He will receive credit for time already served in jail.
The charges stem from a shooting on Feb. 20, 2020. Police said Manchester Police Department Capt. Rick Carnicle was called that day to a residence at 308 1/2 N. Brewer St. The building owner, Steve A. Broghammer, was seeking help accessing the apartment so he could make repairs, and no one was answering the door.
As Carnicle and Broghammer entered, Noble shot at Broghammer, “nearly striking him in the head,” police said. Noble then shot at Carnicle, who fired back in self-defense. No injuries were reported.
Noble originally was charged with two counts of attempted murder. On March 16, he entered an Alford plea of guilty to the lesser charges. An Alford plea is not an admission of guilt, but the defendant acknowledges that sufficient evidence for a conviction exists.
Noble then filed a motion for arrest of judgment on April 15, stating that he “entered the Alford plea, not guilty plea(s)” and that the plea deal was different than what he had agreed to. Iowa District Court Judge Monica Wittig dismissed that motion since it was not filed by Noble’s attorney.
“Additionally, the plea proceedings (were) conducted properly and the defendant entered into the plea intelligently and voluntarily,” Wittig’s dismissal states.
Documents written by Noble on April 28 asked the court to withdraw his Alford plea of guilty.
Noble’s documents request for his defense attorney to be withdrawn from the case and asked the court for permission to represent himself if the case goes to trial.
Noble’s handwritten documents state that he “started feeling helpless about my own defense” after spending more than one year in jail. Noble also states in the documents that he didn’t feel he would get a fair trial with his attorney, so he allowed the attorney to negotiate a plea deal.
Noble also claims that he was not told that an Alford plea equated to a guilty plea, which is why he took the deal.
“I have not committed any of the offenses I’ve been charged with in this case,” Noble wrote in documents. “I did not knowingly plead guilty and could prove it, not simply establish reasonable doubt of any guilt presumed against me, if anyone would only let me do so in court.”
Anderson-Seeber ruled that the motion to withdraw the guilty pleas was moot and noted that Noble has the right to appeal.