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Iowa Assault Law
Melissa Slender v. Anthony Zane Blessum

Des Moines, IA - Woman Awarded $500,000 in damages against former lawyer and lover

Melissa Slender sued Anthony Zane Blessum on malpractice, breach of fiduciary trust, domestic assault, battery, outrageous conduct and intentional infliction of emotional distress theories. The Plaintiff, a former client of Defendant in a divorce action claimed that they entered into an unethical sexual re... More...
   $498562 (11-19-2015 - IA)


In this appeal, we must decide which statute of limitations governs a charge of kidnapping to commit sexual abuse of a minor under Iowa Code section 710.2 (2007), a class “A” felony with a mandatory sentence of life in prison. In 2014, a teenage girl reported the defendant had locked her in his bedroom and molested her eight years earlier when she was six years old. He was arrested the day after... More...   $0 (10-26-2015 - IA)

Shawn Wayne Whatley v. Warden, Ware State Prison

Shawn Wayne Whatley appeals the dismissal of his 42 U.S.C. § 1983 prison-conditions suit. His claims relate to a beating by prison staff, for which he was denied medical treatment. Although he submitted several prison grievances before suing, the District Court dismissed his suit for failure to exhaust the administrative remedies established by the prison. We reverse for two reasons: because the D... More...   $0 (09-21-2015 - IA)


Scott and Keelin have a daughter in common; S.B. born in 2006. That
same year, Keelin suffered a head injury when she fell from the hood of Scott’s
moving car. Keelin and Scott offered the district court very different versions of
that incident, but they agreed Scott was not charged with any crime relating to
Keelin’s injury.
By 2014, the parties had a visitation schedul... More...
   $0 (08-19-2015 - IA)

Ambus Davis v. State of Iowa

Ambus Davis appeals the dismissal of his petition for postconviction relief.
Davis contends his counsel was ineffective for failing to argue that willful injury
could not be used as the predicate felony for the felony-murder rule. We affirm
on appeal by memorandum opinion pursuant to Iowa Court Rule 21.26(1)(a).
Davis was convicted of first-degree murder after a bench trial on
... More...
   $0 (08-05-2015 - IA)

United States v. Randy Patrie

Cedar Rapids, IA - Eighth Circuit affirms conviction of felon in possession of saw-off shotguns

Randy Patrie pled guilty to being a felon in possession of firearms and to
possession of sawed-off shotguns. At sentencing, the district court1 found (1) that
Patrie had committed first degree murder and thus that it would be appropriate to
apply the cross reference for murder, and ... More...
   $0 (07-27-2015 - IA)

State of Iowa v. Damion John Seats

A juvenile offender convicted of first-degree murder appeals his
resentencing to life in prison without the possibility of parole. In this
appeal, we determine the factors a court must use when it sentences a
juvenile offender for first-degree murder. Because the district court did
not have the benefit of this decision when it sentenced the juvenile, we
vacate the sentence and ... More...
   $0 (06-26-2015 - IA)

United States of America v. Kendan Fonville a/k/a Fudd

Cedar Rapids, IA - Kenneth Fonville pled guilty to illegally possessing a firearm in federal court in Cedar Rapids.

Kendan Fonville, also known as “Fudd,” age 22, from Cedar Rapids, Iowa, was convicted of one count of Possession of a Firearm by an Unlawful Drug User and one count of Possession of a Firearm with an Obliterated Serial Number.

In a plea agreement, Fonville admit... More...
   $0 (05-05-2015 - IA)

United States of America v. Cesar Toledo-Aguilar

A man who re-entered the United States following an aggravated felony conviction was sentenced on February 5, 2015, to 18 months’ in prison.

Cesar Toledo-Aguilar, age 33, from Mexico, received the prison term after a November 6, 2014, guilty plea to one count of illegal re-entry as an aggravated felon.

At the guilty plea, Toledo-Aguilar admitted he had re-entered the United Sta... More...
   $0 (02-09-2015 - IA)

United States of America v. Mark Harken

Cedar Rapids, IA - A man who unlawfully possessed three rifles, two handguns, and 161 rounds of ammunition was sentenced to nine years in federal prison.

Mark Harken, 32, from Aplington, Iowa, received the prison term after an August 29, 2014, guilty plea to one count of being a felon and unlawful user of methamphetamine in possession of firearms and ammunition.

At the guilty ple... More...
   $0 (01-20-2015 - IA)

STATE OF IOWA, Plaintiff-Appellee, vs. ISAIAH HENDERSON, Defendant-Appellant.

Isaiah Henderson appeals from the sentence imposed following his guilty plea for interference with official acts with a weapon, in violation of Iowa Code sections 902.3 and 902.9 (2013). We affirm, finding the district court did not abuse its discretion in imposing the sentence.
I. Background Facts and Proceedings.
Isaiah Henderson entered a plea of guilty to interference with official act... More...
   $0 (08-14-2014 - IA)

IN THE INTEREST OF J.D. AND E.D., Minor Children, Z.D., Father, Appellant.

The father appeals the termination of his parental rights to his children, J.D. and E.D. He asserts that, because the State did not petition that his rights should be terminated under Iowa Code section 232.116(1)(h) (2013), the juvenile court improperly found termination warranted on that paragraph. He further argues that the requirements for termination were not met, because the children were nev... More...   $0 (08-13-2014 - IA)

In the interest of K.B.

A young father appeals the juvenile court order severing his parental rights to his one-year-old son. He contends the State did not prove a statutory ground for termination and argues maintaining his rights would be in the child’s best interests. But primarily, the father seeks an additional six months to work toward reunification—pointing to an exhibit detailing his candid revelations concern... More...   $0 (08-13-2014 - IA)

In the Interest of B.M.

A mother appeals1 from the juvenile court’s order terminating her parental rights to her child, B.M., contending reasonable efforts to reunify the mother and child were not made, there was not clear and convincing evidence to support termination under Iowa Code section 232.116(1)(k) (2013), and termination was not in the best interest of the child. Despite years of intensive services offered to ... More...   $0 (08-13-2014 - IA)

In the Interest of C.C.

A father appeals from the order terminating his parental rights. Upon our de novo review, we affirm.
I. Background Facts and Proceedings.
J.C. is the father and A.A. is the mother of C.C., born in May 2012. The father has a long history of mental health, substance abuse, and alcohol abuse issues, as well as a history of violence and domestic abuse. The father is currently incarcerated, hav... More...
   $0 (08-13-2014 - IA)

State of Iowa v. Dontrayius Eugene Carey

Dontrayius Eugene Carey appeals the judgment and sentence entered upon his conviction of possession of a controlled substance, second offense, in violation of Iowa Code section 124.401(5) (2011). He contends the district court erred in denying his motion to suppress evidence seized during a pat-down search of his person because it violated his constitutional right to be free from unreasonable sear... More...   $0 (08-13-2014 - IA)

United States v. William Robison

On April 18, 2012, Cedar Rapids police officers responded to a report that a
shot had been fired at the residence of Laura Fluke, the mother of eighteen-year-old
William Robison. The officers interviewed individuals present at Fluke’s residence,
including Jenna Moser, and learned that Fluke had been assaulted by her boyfriend,
Shane Manley, on the front porch. Moser told the offi... More...
   $0 (07-22-2014 - IA)

United States v. Dwayne Frosch

Dwayne Richard Frosch appeals the revocation of his supervised release,
arguing only that the district court's factual 1 findings are clearly erroneous. We affirm
the judgment of the district court.
Frosch2 previously was convicted of Kidnapping and Mailing Threatening
Communications, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1201(a)(1) and 18 U.S.C. § 876(c). He
was sentenced to a term of... More...
   $0 (07-14-2014 - IA)

State of Iowa v. Thrmayne Latoine Thomas

We are asked to decide today whether substantial evidence supports the defendant’s convictions for possession of marijuana and crack cocaine with intent to deliver. After police entered an apartment occupied by several individuals, the defendant and one other person ran into the bedroom. The defendant tried to hold the bedroom door shut to prevent the police from entering. Eventually, an officer... More...   $0 (05-30-2014 - IA)

United States of America v. Benjaman Shelabarger

Benjaman Shelabarger, a thirty-six-year-old former resident of Dallas Center, Iowa, was sentenced by United States District Court Chief Judge James E. Gritzner to 210 months in prison on child pornography charges, announced United States Attorney Nicholas A. Klinefeldt. Judge Gritzner also ordered Shelabarger to serve five years of supervised release following the period of imprisonment.

Sh... More...
   $0 (02-25-2014 - IA)

United States of America v. Benjamin Shelabarger

On February 21, 2014, Benjaman Shelabarger, a thirty-six-year-old former resident of Dallas Center, Iowa, was sentenced by United States District Court Chief Judge James E. Gritzner to 210 months in prison on child pornography charges, announced United States Attorney Nicholas A. Klinefeldt. Judge Gritzner also ordered Shelabarger to serve five years of supervised release following the period of i... More...   $0 (02-25-2014 - IA)

Larry Dean White v. State of Iowa

In 2002, Larry Dean White was convicted of first-degree kidnapping, in violation of Iowa Code sections 710.1 and .2 (2001).1 White appeals the denial of his second application for postconviction relief, which he filed in January 2012. Because several claims in the application were time-barred, see Iowa Code § 822.3 (2011), and because we reject his claim that his sentence constitutes cruel and un... More...   $0 (02-05-2014 - IA)

State of Iowa v. Patrick Michael Dudley

Patrick Dudley appeals his judgment and sentence for two counts of second-degree sexual abuse. He raises several arguments in support of reversal, one of which we find dispositive: whether the district court abused its discretion in admitting a psychologist’s opinion that a child’s physical manifestations and symptoms “were consistent with a child dealing with sexual abuse trauma.”

... More...
   $0 (02-05-2014 - IA)

Dennis H. Hagenow v. Betty L. Schmidt

In this appeal, we revisit the doctrine of legal excuse and the sudden emergency defense, as applied to a rear-end collision the jury could have found was caused by defendant’s stroke and resulting partial loss of vision. Plaintiffs’ truck was stopped at a red light in good weather when it was struck by defendant’s car. Defendant saw the red light but denied seeing plaintiffs’ vehicle. At ... More...   $0 (02-12-2014 - IA)

Joshua N. Thomas v. Officers Tim Gavin, Chuck Tygart, Jess Bernhard and Adam Olson

While attending North Liberty Fun Days in 2007, the plaintiff alleges he was wrongfully assaulted and arrested by officers of the North Liberty Police Department and deputies of the Johnson County Sheriff’s Office. He filed suit against the City of North Liberty, Johnson County, and the officers and deputies involved. The district court dismissed his case, finding the defendants were entitled to... More...   $0 (11-04-2013 - IA)

In the Interest of J.T. and R.T., Minor Children

A mother, Tabitha, appeals the district court order terminating her parental rights to her children, R.T. (born 2009) and J.T. (born 2010).1 R.T.’s father, Clinton, also appeals the order terminating his parental rights. Tabitha’s rights were terminated pursuant to Iowa Code section 232.116(1)(d) (2011) (adjudicated child in need of assistance (CINA) for physical abuse or neglect, circumstance... More...   $0 (06-12-2013 - IA)

State of Iowa v. Donald J. Storm

The defendant, Donald Storm, appeals his conviction for carrying weapons, in violation of Iowa Code section 724.4(1) (2011). He argues his trial counsel was ineffective in allowing him to plead guilty to an offense for which there was no factual basis and in failing to file a motion in arrest of judgment based on the lack of a factual basis. He also argues counsel was ineffective in failing to obj... More...   $0 (06-12-2013 - IA)

Jarrod Dale Majors v. State of Iowa

Jarrod Majors appeals from the district court order granting the State’s motion for summary judgment in his second application for postconviction relief. Majors contends (1) the district erred in granting summary judgment because there was a genuine issue of material fact regarding competency and intoxication, (2) he was denied his right to effective assistance of counsel because all previous at... More...   $0 (06-12-2013 - IA)

State of Iowa v. Jonathan Richard Armstrong

Jonathan Armstrong appeals his convictions and sentences following a jury trial on multiple offenses related to a home invasion. After the merger of some charges, he was sentenced and convicted of nine offenses. He alleges ineffective assistance of trial counsel and insufficient evidence to sustain his convictions. We agree that counsel’s failure to object to flawed jury instructions on kidnappi... More...   $0 (05-15-2013 - IA)

State of Iowa v. Anthony Joseph Melton

Anthony Melton appeals his judgment and sentence for assault with intent to commit sexual abuse. He argues: (1) there is insufficient evidence to support the jury’s finding of guilt, (2) the district court erred in admitting hearsay statements, and (3) his trial attorney was ineffective in failing to object to what he characterizes as irrelevant and prejudicial testimony.

I. Sufficiency o... More...
   $0 (05-15-2013 - IA)

State of Iowa v. Randy Mitchell Copenhaver

Defendant, Randy Copenhaver, appeals from the judgment and sentences on the jury’s verdicts of guilty to robbery in the second degree (two counts), in violation of Iowa Code sections 711.1 and 711.3 (2009), and theft in the second degree, in violation of Iowa Code section 714.1(1) and 714.2(2). He argues that the two counts of robbery should have merged into a single offense and there was not su... More...   $0 (05-15-2013 - IA)

Columbia Casualty Co. v. Curtis W. McGhee

The City of Council Bluffs, police officers Daniel Larsen, Lyle Brown, and David Dawson (collectively the City), and Curtis McGhee appeal from the district court’s order granting summary judgment to Chicago Insurance Company (CIC) and Columbia Casualty Company (Columbia), on CIC’s and Columbia’s declaratory judgment claims concerning coverage under various insurance policies. We affirm as to... More...   $0 (04-30-2013 - IA)

Melvin Folkerts v. City of Waverly

Melvin and Idella Folkerts are the legal guardians and conservators of their adult son, Travis Michael Folkerts. In May 2008, Travis1 was investigated and charged with sexual assault. Alleging deprivation of his constitutional and statutory rights, the Folkertses sued the City of Waverly, Iowa, and Troy Schneider, an investigator with the police department. The district court2 granted summary judg... More...   $0 (02-25-2013 - IA)

Clint Small v. James McCrystal

On October 5, 2008, deputies of Woodbury County, Iowa, responded to a disturbance. They arrested one plaintiff at the scene; arrest warrants were issued for others within weeks. The plaintiffs sued the deputies and County under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and Iowa law. The deputies and County moved for summary judgment, which the district court1 denied in part. The deputies and County appeal. Having jurisdi... More...   $0 (02-19-2013 - IA)

Jeannie Schlichte v. William Schlichte

On the day her father died, Jeannie Schlichte finally felt free. Six months after his death she sued his estate, alleging he sexually abused her across three decades and asking for one million dollars in damages. The estate moved for summary judgment, arguing the suit was barred by the statute of limitations. The district court granted summary judgment, finding Jeannie knew of the abuse and was aw... More...   $0 (01-24-2013 - IA)

Gail Bierman v. Scott Weier

This defamation case concerns Mind, Body and Soul, a book written by Scott Weier. In the author’s words, the book is “based on my life.” It discusses Scott’s personal transformation, largely through his relationship with God, following his divorce “on bad terms” from his first wife. Scott’s ex-wife and her father concluded the book falsely accused them of lying, abuse, and suffering ... More...   $0 (01-18-2013 - IA)

Shaefen Huyser v. John D. Lynch, Jr.

John Lynch Jr. and his mother, Mary Lynch, appeal a jury award of damages to plaintiff Shaefen Huyser in her civil action for slander. Finding no error, we affirm.

Shaefen and John are the unmarried parents of an eleven-year-old daughter, Z.L. John had regular phone conversations with Z.L., the conversations were tape recorded, and the tapes were played to the jury. Among other things, Jo... More...
   $2400000 (12-14-2012 - IA)

Two Rivers Bank & Trust v. Vanya Atanasova

This negligence action grew out of a highway collision in Iowa. Kala Holtkamp was driving at night with her fiancĂ©, Christopher Davis, and her two year old son, K.H., when she collided with the rear of a semi truck driven by Vanya Ilieva Atanasova. Davis was killed, K.H. was seriously injured, and Holtkamp fractured a vertebra in her neck. Holtkamp, K.H.'s father, and representatives for Davis an... More...   $0 (07-24-2012 - IA)

Ted Joseph White v. The Iowa District Court for Clinton County

Ted White challenges the district court’s finding he was in contempt of a domestic abuse protective order. He claims he cannot be held in contempt because the protective order was void. If not void, he claims the protective order had expired by operation of law and thus, was ambiguous. White also contends the district court erred in finding his conduct was willful and abused its discretion in im... More...   $0 (05-23-2012 - IA)

Mitzi McElree v. Richard McElree

Mitzi McElree appeals from the district court’s dismissal of her petition for relief from domestic abuse. Because of the lack of findings and conclusions in the trial court’s dismissal order, and the state of the record, we reverse and remand.

I. Background Facts & Proceedings.

On July 18, 2011, Mitzi McElree filed a pro se petition for relief from domestic abuse against her husb... More...
   $0 (05-23-2012 - IA)

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