Des Moines, IA -- Former Des Moines Police Officer Mersed Dautovic was found dead Sunday morning in an Urbandale apartment along with his 24-year old girlfriend in an apparent murder-suicide, according to this morning's press release.
Dautovic's girlfriend was identified by authorities today as Mevlida Dzananovic. The couple was found dead in garage number 19, in an apartment complex in Urbandale after a concerned family member requested the police do a "wellness check." While police say the weapon used is unknown at this time, autopsies show both died from strangulation, Dautovic's being self-inflicted.
Dautovic had a clear history of violence. This news comes just weeks after Dautovic was arrested in Waukee and charged with first offense domestic assault on March 28, according to court records. The couple apparently had more than just one or two domestic disputes while living together in the Urbandale apartment complex.
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Dautovic was scheduled to be sentenced today on an excessive-force charge in a case that's been ongoing since September 2008. It's been nearly 7 years since Dautovic and his former partner, John Mailander, brutally assaulted a man named Octavius Bonds. The officers beat him during a traffic stop in what federal prosecutors have called a “horrific, violent crime.”
Officer Dautovic and his partner delivered multiple blows to Bonds on the back of his head with steel batons during the traffic stop.
The former officer originally served 20 months in prison for the crime, charged with obstruction of justice and violating civil rights. Upon being released in January, a three-judge panel found Dautovic's sentence too lenient, one judge calling his behavior "egregious," and scheduling a resentencing for a harsher sentence and more time behind bars.
Mersed Dautovic was scheduled to be resentenced at 10am Monday morning, and was facing up to 14 years in prison.
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