LaDonna Kennedy
LaDonna Kennedy

January 17, 2019

Law-enforcement officers found 18 marijuana plants growing in the Jamaica mayor’s house Wednesday as they searched for a man wanted for attempted murder for a recent shooting in Ames, according to court records.

Sheriffs and their deputies from Guthrie and Greene counties went to the house about 4:20 p.m. and smelled “the overwhelming odor of raw marijuana” as they knocked on the front door in the 500 block of First Avenue, a criminal complaint shows.

Jamaica is about 12 miles south of Jefferson.

A subsequent search found the plants in three different areas of the house, about a quarter-pound of packaged marijuana and a pill bottle that contained prescription sedatives.

Mayor LaDonna Dee Kennedy, 50, and husband Randy Dean Kennedy, 58, each face multiple drug-related criminal charges, three of which are felonies punishable by up to five years in prison.

They were released from jail Thursday morning, court records show. They could not be reached to comment for this article.

The officers went to the Kennedys’ house based on a tip that Rodney Dean Halterman, 18, was there, but they did not located him. Halterman is wanted for attempted murder, a felony punishable by up to 25 years in prison.

He is accused of going to an Ames house Saturday afternoon and threatening another man with a handgun. A struggle ensued, and the handgun fired and struck a 19-year-old woman in the upper chest, court records show.

Halterman has been on the lam since. The woman was treated at a hospital and released the next day.

Halterman was a Greene County High student this school year until police officers searched his house and school locker for drugs. They found more than a third of a pound of marijuana at his house, court records show.

Halterman faces several drug-related charges, including a felony for distributing drugs to someone younger than 18, which is punishable by up to 25 years in prison.

Those with information about Halterman’s whereabouts can call the Ames Police Department at (515) 239-5133.