The man charged with murder in the death of 20-year-old Corey Iwanski gave homicide detectives a detailed confession, including that the victim was shot in the face during a drug deal gone wrong.
Jacob Brian Harris, 20, was arrested Monday and charged with second-degree murder.
Just after midnight on Aug. 20, Iwanski was found dead by his friends in his car behind a business in a strip mall at 3126 53rd Ave. E., Bradenton. His friends called the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office and the victim’s fatal gunshot launched an investigation by the Manatee Homicide Investigative Unit.
Iwanski had been known to hang out behind that strip mall, his friends told detectives.
Harris appeared before Circuit Judge Diana Moreland on Tuesday afternoon for a first appearance hearing to face the murder charge. He remained silent other than to accept that a public defender be appointed to represent him.
Assistant State Attorney Dickey Hough asked that Harris remain held without bond on the basis of his confession and that there is video evidence in the case against him. Assistant Public Defender Franklin Roberts had no argument regarding probable cause, he said.
“The court finds that there is clear and convincing evidence,” Moreland said when she ordered Harris held without bond.
Iwanski’s mother had reported him missing the afternoon before his body was found after no one had heard from him for two days. He had plans to meet a friend at a local CVS and then head over to another friend’s house to watching the Floyd Mayweather vs. Conor McGregor boxing match on Aug. 26 but was first going to make a drug deal. He never made it the CVS or his friend’s house.
Video surveillance footage from the strip mall where Iwanski was found showed three cars in addition to Iwanski’s. His car was never seen leaving. On Friday, the sheriff’s office released photos from the video surveillance footage and asked for the public’s help in identifying the three vehicles.
On Sunday, detectives were contacted by an informant who said that Harris had been at a party to watch the fight when he got a call and then said he needed to take some friends to meet with Iwanski to buy marijuana, according to his arrest report.
“Harris left the party in his red Jeep Grand Cherokee and never returned for the boxing event,” Detective Dan Dickerman wrote in the arrest report.
The witness did not hear from Harris until he called Friday after the surveillance photos were released by the sheriff’s office, according to the report, but the witness did not answer the phone. The witness did confirm to detectives that the red Jeep in the surveillance video was Harris’ and was able to tell them that the Jeep had rusted front wheels.
Detectives went to Harris’ home to speak with him and Harris admitted to having been in his Jeep at the time of the shooting but blamed it on others, according to the report. But after asking his parents to leave the room, Harris offered detectives a detailed confession.
“Harris denies that it was a robbery even though he took the victim’s property,” Dickerman wrote.