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[VIDEO] Trial begins for man accused of robbing Mike Wasike a Kenyan living in Iowa

Opening statements are underway Tuesday in the trial of Terrance Cheeks.

Cheeks is one of three men accused of robbing Mike Wasike and leaving him brutally beaten in the street last February.  Cheeks is charged with two counts of first-degree robbery.

Wasike is now confined to a wheelchair.

Wasike’s wife Joan plans to testify about how her husband’s injuries have affected her family.

Cheeks sat in court and listened to opening arguments from his attorney and the prosecution.

The defense is pointing the finger at Lashawn Murrary as the ringleader who did most of the damage. Murray made a plea deal with prosecutors and will be sentenced in June.

The prosecution counters that Cheeks was not someone going along for the ride but was a very active participant in a brutal crime.

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Wasike is now confined to a wheelchair.

A 16-year-old and two 15-year-olds are accused of beating and robbing Mike Wasike during a carjacking on February 26th, but this isn’t their first encounter with police.

Joan Namanchemo and her husband, Mike Wasike immigrated to the U.S. from Kenya six years ago.

“It was a dream.  It was a big dream for us to come here and be something.”

That dream has turned into a nightmare.  Three teens are accused of robbing and beating Wasike nearly to death at an intersection just a block from the couple’s home on Twana Drive.  Wasike remains hospitalized and may never be the same.

“He has some pretty bad brain damage,” says Namachemo.  “So, we don’t know.  We are hoping for a miracle.”

Namachemo also hopes the three teens accused of robbing her husband face stiffer charges.

“The guy has a broken skull and pretty bad damaged brain.  So, I want something harsher than that…  I think it should be attempted murder.”

This is what we know about the accused, based on police reports.  15-year old Terrance Cheeks has had at least 25 encounters with police in the last three years.  The complaints include assault, burglary, theft and trespassing.

Lashaun Murray, also 15, has had two run-ins with police involving interference and harassment.

Kenneth Barry, 16 was accused of burglary and disorderly conduct in may of last year.

“I feel terrible for the fact that these kids have all this background and they’re still out there, just walking the streets and my husband ended up in their hands,” says Namachemo.

Wasike worked two jobs to support Namachemo and their two children, Sandra, 12 and Melvin, 3.  Now, he may never work again.

“I only hope the charges will be changed, because my kids might never have a normal dad in their life… I honestly don’t know what the future holds for me.”

kCCI

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