Snow charged with murder

Bobby Joe Snow

Updated: May 19, 2011 1:15 p.m.

An Ottumwa man facing murder charges, made his first court appearance Thursday morning.

Bobby Joe Snow, 39, of Ottumwa, entered a not guilty plea in a Wapello County courtroom. Snow is charged with Second Degree Murder in connection with the death of James Lee McElroy, 40.

Snow is scheduled for a preliminary hearing on Monday morning.


Bobby Joe Snow , 39, has been formally arrested for murder.

The Ottumwa Police Department announced that Snow will face a charge of Murder in the Second Degree for the death of James Lee McElroy.

Second Degree Murder is a Class "B" felony.

Snow was originally charged with attempted murder after he allegedly assaulted McElroy Sunday morning.

McElroy died of his injuries at a Des Moines hospital on Monday.

Snow remains in the Wapello County Jail. His bond has been increased from $100,000 to $500,000.

Snow faces a maximum of 50 years in jail if convicted of Second Degree Murder.

Link to the previous story

UPDATED - 4 p.m. May 17

As of Tuesday afternoon no new charges have been filed against Bobby Joe Snow.

Online court records show that Snow has pleaded not guilty to attempted murder. He is scheduled to be in court May 23 for a preliminary hearing.

KTVO has confirmed that the victims in the case are related.

James Lee McElroy, who died after allegedly being beaten by Snow, is the stepfather of Robyn Assell-Collett.

Assell-Collett was reportedly run down by Snow in an alley on Ottumwa's east end early Sunday morning. Assell-Collett remains in a Des Moines hospital in serious condition.


UPDATED - 4 p.m. May 16

At this time no decision has been made by law enforcement about whether the death of James Lee McElroy will lead to more serious charges against Bobby Joe Snow.

KTVO spoke to the Wapello County Attorney's office late Monday afternoon. A spokesperson from the office told us that the investigation into the weekend incident is ongoing and they are not prepared to discuss additional charges at this time. We were told that if additional charges were to be filed against Snow, that would likely come later this week.

Snow is accused of the assault that led to McElroy's death and the serious injury of Robyn Assell-Collett.

Snow has a lengthy criminal record.

Below is the press release from the Ottumwa Police Department released at 4:45 p.m. Monday:

On May 15, 2011, 39 year-old Bobby Joe Snow of Ottumwa was arrested after police found that 23 year-old Robyn Assell-Collett of Ottumwa had been deliberately struck by a vehicle in the north alley of the 1400 Block of East Main Street. Police determined that Snow was the driver of the vehicle and he was charged with one count of Attempt To Commit Murder after being arrested several hours later in the 300 Block of South Moore in Ottumwa. Snow is currently being held in the Wapello County jail with bond set at $100,000.00.

Following Assell-Collett being struck with the motor vehicle, Snow assaulted 40 year-old James Lee McElroy in front of his home at 149 South Fellows, which is approximately one block from the hit and run.

McElroy was taken to Ottumwa Regional Hospital and then transferred to Mercy Medical Center in Des Moines where he was listed in critical condition Sunday.

Today, Mercy Medical Center officials announced that James McElroy died at 10:37 AM this morning. The Ottumwa Police Department is continuing its investigation into the assault of McElroy and expect to file charges as a result of his death later this week after official autopsy results are evaluated.

UPDATED - 2 p.m. May 16

A spokesperson with Mercy Medical Center in Des Moines has confirmed that 40-Year-Old James Lee McElroy of Ottumwa has passed away.


Ottumwa Police Department officers responded to a disturbance in the 100 Block of South Fellows early Sunday morning.Just after midnight, officers arrived on the scene and found Robyn Assell-Collett, 23, of Ottumwa had been deliberately struck by a vehicle in the north alley of the 1400 Block of East Main Street. Officers also found that the driver of the car had assaulted James Lee McElroy, 40, in front of his home at 149 South Fellows. Both victims were taken to the Ottumwa Regional Health Center and then transferred to Mercy Medical Center in Des Moines where they are listed in critical condition.After further investigation, officers determined that Bobby Joe Snow, 39, of Ottumwa was both the driver of the vehicle that struck Assell-Collett and the person who assaulted McElroy. Following an extensive search, officers located Snow just after 7 Sunday morning inside 322 South Moore Street. After a short foot chase, Snow was taken into custody and transported to the Wapello County Jail.

Snow has been charged with one count of Attempt to Commit Murder in violation of Chapter 707.11 of the Code of Iowa, a Class B Felony, for the deliberate hit and run of Assell-Collett. Snow remains in the Wapello County Jail with bond set at $100,000.

Information provided by the Ottumwa Police Department