CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KWWL) -- Drew Wagner was sentenced on Friday for his role in the murder of Chris Bagley in 2018. He was sentenced to a 47-year prison term with a minimum of 10 years served.
Wagner pleaded guilty to seven charges, including voluntary manslaughter, in 2020.
During the trial of Drew Blahnik, who was found guilty of Second-Degree Murder in Bagley's death, Wagner testified as part of his plea agreement.
The former co-defendant in the case testified that he held Bagley as Blahnik stabbed him in the early morning hours of December 14, 2018. Wagner said he was the one who drove Blahnik to Paul Hoff's trailer, where Bagley was killed.
At the sentencing, Dr. Luis Rosell testified regarding the psychological evaluation he had conducted on Wagner months earlier. He mentioned how Wagner was raised by his father and experienced physical abuse from his stepmother. Dr. Rosell said he assessed Wagner as a low risk for any future violence, noting that his previous criminal history before assisting in Bagley's killing was all non-violent.
Wagner gave a statement to the judge and Bagley family, offering remorse for his actions and saying he will work on improving himself in prison.
"I want to apologize from the bottom of my heart to all the families affected by Chris' death. To my family, I'm sorry to put you through this, especially to my father and daughter who I have let down. You raised me different than this. To my daughter, I'm so sorry. You deserve so much more than this. This situation is not who I am. But I carry the weight of it every day," Wagner said, as part of his statement.
There were also victim impact statements from Bagley's mother, wife, and sister.
"He wanted to be better, he wanted to do better, and he was making those changes necessary to do so until Drew Blahnik and Drew Wagner murdered him," Christine Bagley, Chris' mother, said. "So for the defense to use that as some sort of motive or to portray him as some sort of monster, a junky, or a waste of space is more than I can bear, because Drew [Wagner] and Drew Blahnik are still here to get the opportunity to do right. My Christopher had his chance taken away."
During Blahnik's trial, witnesses said that Blahnik, Bagley, Wagner, and Hoff all sold drugs for large-scale drug trafficker Andy Shaw, who is currently serving a 94-month federal sentence for large-scale marijuana trafficking. He was never charged in Bagley's murder.
Wagner testified Blahnik made him search for Bagley, saying he was hoping that they wouldn't find him and that he heard conversations between Blahnik and Shaw as they planned to kill Bagley.
Wagner also said Blahnik and Hoff buried Bagley's body in Wagner's backyard and he later attempted to excavate the body with another individual but was unsuccessful.
During Wagner's testimony, Linn County Attorney Jerry Vander Sanden asked him why he pleaded guilty in exchange for his truthful testimony, he said, "Because I'm guilty."
Drew Blahnik faces a maximum of 50 years in prison for the murder charge alone and would only be eligible for parole once he served 70% of that sentence. His sentencing is scheduled for October 12, 2021.