The Sully man accused of severely beating his wife while holding her against her will at their southeast Jasper County home on Saturday was taken into custody by federal agents on New Year's Eve on charges of possessing firearms and ammunition as a convicted felon.
William "Billie" Leroy Sanders, 40, of 11010 S. 100th Ave. E. made his initial appearance in federal court Tuesday afternoon after a warrant was issued for his arrest following the filing of a criminal complaint by Special Agent Philip Pritchett with the Des Moines field office of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
Sanders was charged with willful injury and possession of firearms by a felon, both Class C felonies, after Jasper County Sheriff's Department deputies responded to his residence at 1:30 p.m. Saturday on a report of a domestic situation. He was taken to the Jasper County Jail following his arrest but appeared before a judge on Sunday where his bond was lowered and he posted bond and was released.
Sanders' wife told Jasper County authorities responding to the scene on Saturday that Sanders had allegedly beaten her with his fists and a firearm "causing extensive cuts and abrasions to her face." She also complained of chest and arm injuries and was transported to the Pella hospital by Sully ambulance and then to Mercy Hospital in Des Moines.
The federal criminal complaint filed Tuesday states that the Jasper County Sheriff's Office had been notified by the woman's son that his mother was being held against her will and had been assaulted. He also told local law enforcement that Sanders had firearms inside the home.
When a sheriff deputy arrived, the woman was seen standing in the front yard "at which time she came running to the patrol vehicle." She told the deputy that Sanders had caused the "extensive" injuries to her face.
Upon entry into the home, the deputy found Sanders passed out on the floor with his pants around his ankles next to an almost empty bottle of Jack Daniels. He was place in handcuffs where the deputy found 12-gauge shells in Sanders' pants pocket and 17 more shotgun shells inside a coat pocket that was lying next to him on the floor.
While at the hospital on Monday, Sanders' wife provided a statement to Jasper County Sheriff John Halferty that Sanders "shot a round at her while she was sitting on the couch and that he also fired a crossbow at her." The slug was recovered from the home and "it appeared that it missed the woman by about 12 inches and that the crossbow appeared to have missed her by a smaller distance while she sat on the couch."
The woman also told the Sheriff that Sanders put a "tactical shotgun in the car and forced her to drive to a gas station to buy cigarettes," the complaint states.
During the investigation, a J. Stevens pump 12-gauge shotgun was found loaded in plain view in the room where the assault had occurred with the same type of shotgun shells found in Sanders' pockets. Three other loaded firearms were recovered from the residence: an H&R 12-gauge pump shotgun, a Marlin model 40 .22 caliber rifle and a Springfield XD 9-millimeter pistol.
The criminal complaint notes that Sanders is a "multi-convicted felon" from Iowa for narcotics violations, as well as being convicted for assault on a police officer and domestic assault.
"Based upon the facts, statements and information contained in this affidavit, this affiant believes there is probable cause to believe that William Leroy Sanders violated Title 18 U.S.C. Section 922(g)(1) - It shall be unlawful for any person who has been convicted in any court of a felony to receive or possess a firearm or ammunition," the criminal complaint states.
At his initial appearance on Tuesday, Sanders was ordered to remain detained pending preliminary and detention hearings set for Monday in the federal courthouse in Des Moines. He was appointed a federal public defender.