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Des Moines school shooter gets 65 years in prison

A judge on Thursday sentenced an Iowa man to 65 years in prison for killing two students and seriously injuring the program's founder at a Des Moines alternative school.

Polk County District Judge Larry McClellan sentenced Preston Walls, 19, to consecutive prison terms after being found guilty in September of second-degree murder, manslaughter and assault causing serious bodily injury.

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The jury found that Walls killed Rashad Carr, 16, and Gioni Dameron, 18, on January 23, 2023, at Starts Right Here, an alternative school on the edge of downtown Des Moines. He admitted and was found guilty. The school's founder, Will Keeps, was also shot but survived. He quickly restarted the program, which operates under a contract with Des Moines Public Schools.

This booking photo provided by the Polk County, Iowa Jail shows Preston's wall. (Polk County Jail, via AP, File)

Walls said he feared for his life after previous encounters with Carr and Dameron.

Walls must serve at least 40 years in prison before being released. He must also pay $150,000 in restitution to Kerr and Dameron's families.

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Jurors acquitted another man, Bravon Tewkes, who had been charged with murder and other charges after chasing Walls away from the shooting. Mr. Walls testified at the trial and said that Mr. Tewkes did not plan the shooting and that he was not involved in the killing.

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