Niko Lee Rice

Local man facing attempted murder charge

Staff report
A 23-year-old Jefferson man was booked Wednesday into the Greene County Jail on a charge of attempted murder.

Niko Lee Rice is accused of assaulting his 31-year-old girlfriend so badly July 13 that she was taken to a Des Moines hospital, according to police.

Rice reportedly struck his girlfriend continually with closed fists, choked her with his hands and also allegedly placed his belt around her throat, choking her.

The use of a belt to allegedly cut off her airway resulted in the charge of attempted murder, according to Jefferson Police Chief Mark Clouse.

“That’s a very serious charge,” Clouse said.

Rice also was jailed on charges of willful injury, domestic abuse assault/impeding air flow and harassment.

Officers had first been called to 406½ E. State St. about 5 p.m. July 13 after a neighbor in the area heard screaming and approached the residence.

The neighbor was met by Rice and his girlfriend in a physical fight as they exited the property.

The neighbor reported the woman had obvious signs of injuries and trauma, according to police.

Rice then allegedly approached the neighbor and threatened to assault her as well.

His girlfriend was taken to the Greene County Medical Center emergency room by Greene County EMS, where she then was taken to Des Moines by private vehicle.

“The trauma to the victim was one of the worse ones that we’ve had here in town for quite a while,” Clouse said.

Rice later turned himself in at the Law Enforcement Center, reportedly covered in blood, according to a police report.

He told police he had taken a large amount of prescription medications.

Rice was transported to the ER by Greene County EMS, and later taken to a facility in Council Bluffs.

Council Bluffs police arrested Rice on Wednesday as he was being released from the facility.

He was brought back to Jefferson and booked into jail.

If convicted of attempted murder, a B felony, Rice could face as much as 10 years in prison, Clouse said.

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