Little Sioux man charged with murder


Sebastin O'Brien, a 22-year-old from Little Sioux, has been charged with first-degree murder following a vehicle rollover south of Modale on Sunday.

O’Brien was identified by the Harrison County Sheriff's Office while responding to the crash at approximately 4:30 p.m. that day. O'Brien became combative with deputies and was placed in custody after a short struggle, according to the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation.

After further investigation, it was found that O'Brien allegedly was not the owner of the vehicle involved in the rollover, according to an affidavit, and Harrison County deputies found the owner deceased inside his residence in rural Harrison County.

O'Brien was allegedly operating the victim's pickup on Austin Avenue south of Modale before crashing, according to the affidavit. The affidavit also states that O'Brien was allegedly intoxicated and “made unsolicited statements indicating he had assaulted the owner of the truck.”

The owner, the affidavit states, was found to be Douglas Manley, a 53-year-old from Missouri Valley.

After arriving at Manley's residence, law enforcement allegedly found tire tracks in the driveway that gave the impression that someone left in a hurry, according to the affidavit. Blood was also allegedly smeared on the front door window, and the front door appeared to have been forced open, according to the affidavit.

Upon entering the home, more blood was allegedly found inside, according to the affidavit. Manley was then found deceased at the top of the stairs to the upper floor, according to the affidavit, allegedly suffering severe blunt force facial and head injuries.

In an interview at CHI Hospital in Missouri Valley, O'Brien allegedly told investigators that he and Manley had been living together in a camper by DeSoto Bend, the affidavit continues. The two got into a physical altercation while moving furniture, with O'Brien allegedly stating that he punched, kicked and struck Manley with dresser drawers.

O'Brien also said that Manley deserved it because he had allegedly been trafficking children in Blair, Neb., and that Manley allegedly raped O’Brien earlier in the day, according to the affidavit.

Following his arrest, O'Brien allegedly called his mother and told her Manley deserved to die because he had been molesting someone, according to the affidavit.

O'Brien was then charged with first-degree murder and taken to Harrison County Jail. Additional charges are pending.

The criminal investigation is being conducted by the Harrison County Sheriff’s Office with assistance from the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation and Iowa State Patrol. Manley’s body was transported to the Iowa Office of the State Medical Examiner in Ankeny where a forensic autopsy was performed, ruling Manley's death as a homicide caused by blunt force trauma, an April 24 release from the Iowa DCI states.

O'Brien is currently being held at the Harrison County Jail without bond. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for May 1. William McGinn, of McGinn Law Firm in Council Bluffs, Iowa, will be O'Brien's public defender.

The investigation is ongoing, and the Times-News will provide additional reporting when information becomes available.