ESTHERVILLE, Iowa (KCAU) — A man was found guilty of lesser charges in relation to a homicide that occurred in Emmet County last year.

A jury found CeJay Van Der Wilt, 19, guilty Tuesday of involuntary manslaughter in relation to the killing of David McDowell, 20. McDowell was killed on Oct. 2, 2021.

Prosecutors had alleged that Van Der Wilt and his co-defendant Connor Uhde arrange, 20, to meet McDowell for the purpose of killing him. The victim was driven out to rural Estherville where he was shot and killed and left. The next day a motorist who was passing through the area found McDowell.

Initially, both men had been charged with first-degree murder, which carries a life sentence in Iowa.

Uhde took a plea deal that resulted in him pleading guilty to attempted murder and third-degree kidnapping, charges that could net him 35 years in prison. A judge ruled he would not sentence Uhde until the conclusion of Van Der Wilt’s case.

According to a document attached to the jury’s verdict form, the jury did not find the testimony of Uhde or another accomplice Brady Salberg to be corroborated by other credible evidence in the case. In Iowa, a person cannot be convicted only upon the testimony of accomplices in the case.

The cases were prosecuted by the Emmett County Attorney’s Office.

Now that Van Der Wilt has been convicted, a sentencing date has been set for December 6 at 1:30 p.m. He faces up to five years in prison for his role in the crime.