Iowa City man pleads guilty to lesser charges after reaching plea agreement in terrorism case

The man, Nezzy Underscore Conway, was charged with terrorism and possession of an incendiary device in 2022 after placing the devices in Iowa City locations, including on the UI campus.


Avi Lapchick

An Iowa City police car is seen on March 2, 2023.

Virginia Russell, News Reporter

An Iowa City man who was charged with terrorism in July 2022 pleaded guilty to lesser charges after reaching a plea agreement.

According to a police report, Nezzy Underscore Conway, 24, left explosive or incendiary devices in two locations in Iowa City and on the University of Iowa campus last summer. 

Conway is set to be sentenced on May 19 for possession of an incendiary or explosive device, arson, and burglary. Initially, the trial was set for this month. Conway had pleaded not guilty to eight charges, one of which included terrorism. 

Conway was originally arrested on July 5, 2022, after police found the device near the UI College of Public Health. 

This initial discovery led to a city-wide search that yielded evidence Conway was the suspect following reports that he assaulted people at the GuideLink Center mental health facility. Police arrested Conway and his backpack was searched, where they found incendiary materials.

According to police, Conway’s backpack contained the same tape that was initially found on the incendiary device at the university. In a later search of Conway’s apartment, the tape was found again, along with a stolen propane tank from Proctor & Gamble manufacturing company.

According to Iowa Courts, Conway’s attorney will present information from UI psychiatrist Nancy Williams regarding his mental health at his sentencing hearing. Court documents also indicate that Conway intended to use an insanity defense prior to his guilty plea. 

In November 2022, he issued an apology letter to the court along with police, the Guidelink Center, the UI, Capital House Apartments, and Proctor & Gamble, saying his actions were irresponsible and were a result of him not taking his antipsychotic medication.

He is currently being held in the Johnson County jail on a $215,500 bond.