An earlier version of this story had the incorrect last name of the suspect charged in the crime. The information has been corrected. We apologize for the mistake.
POLK COUNTY, Iowa – A person of interest in the homicide of a Des Moines man earlier this month turned himself in Monday and now officials say he has been charged with first-degree murder.
The Polk County Sheriff’s Office said 38-year-old Courtney Smith is charged in the death of 51-year-old Scott Crane. Crane was found dead in the early morning hours of August 6, after law enforcement officers responded to a report of gunshots in the 300 block of NE 46th Avenue in Des Moines. Officials say he had been shot.
Smith turned himself in at the Polk County Sheriff’s Office around 4:00 p.m. Monday on a material witness warrant. Tuesday morning, officials said he had been charged with Crane’s murder.
Smith is being held in the Polk County Jail and will make his initial appearance before a judge Wednesday.
After the charge was announced Tuesday, Crane’s family issued a statement:
“We are grateful to have the opportunity to speak for Scott, since he is unable to speak for himself.
Scott was a son, a brother, and a father. He was proud of his children and boasted about them often. Scott was a human being and he was loved. No one deserves to have their life taken from them in such a tragic and violent way.
Our family said goodbye to Scott’s earthly body for the last time this past week, but we will continue to seek justice on his behalf.
We are thankful to all law enforcement agencies who are working tirelessly on this case. We are appreciative for the outpouring of support from friends, family and the public; and are confident the person involved in Scott’s death will be held accountable for their actions.”The Family of Scott Crane
Court documents stated witnesses placed Smith at the scene of the crime and he was seen leaving the residence around 12:30 a.m. on August 6. A criminal complaint in the case also said, “he is believed to have knowledgeable facts about the case that would be useful for Law Enforcement Investigators.”
The investigation into Crane’s homicide continues.