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Iowa Death Law
 

State of Minnesota vs. Diamond Lee Jamal Griffin

Following a jury trial, appellant Diamond Lee Jamal Griffin was convicted of first
degree felony murder, Minn. Stat. § 609.185(a)(3) (2014), in connection with the shooting
death of Francisco Benitez-Hernandez.1 On appeal, Griffin contends the district court
committed reversible error when it admitted Spreigl evidence and when it denied his
motion for a mistrial. He also claim... More...
   $0 (11-18-2016 - IA)

STATE OF IOWA vs. TYRONE R. WASHINGTON, JR.

On August 19, 2013, Washington was charged by trial information with murder in the first degree in the death of Justina Smith. Washington entered a plea of not guilty and gave notice he would claim self-defense. The trial was initially set to begin on May 12, 2015. On May 5, 2015, Washington filed a motion to strike the jury panel, arguing there was “a material departure from the statutory... More...   $0 (10-27-2016 - IA)

STATE OF IOWA vs. DONALD DEAN GRIDLEY

A truck slid down an embankment and crashed, killing Donald Gridley’s
father. The State charged Gridley with vehicular homicide, defined as
“unintentionally caus[ing] the death of another by operating a motor vehicle while
intoxicated.” See Iowa Code § 707.6A(1) (2013). A jury found him guilty.
On appeal Gridley (1) challenges the sufficiency of the evidence
supportin... More...
   $0 (10-13-2016 - IA)

STATE OF IOWA vs. JESHUA DAVID DIVIS

For entertainment on Black Friday morning, Cassandra Stever and her
mother decided to gamble at Ameristar Casino in Council Bluffs. After some
initial success on the slot machines, Stever’s luck soured, and she moved to a
different bank of machines away from the spot where her mother was playing.
At her new location, a man later identified as Divis sat down next to
S... More...
   $0 (09-16-2016 - IA)

STATE OF IOWA vs. JENNIFER MARY BEADER

Jennifer Beader appeals revocation of her deferred judgment and
imposition of judgment and sentence on her conviction for theft in the third
degree. She claims her admissions that she violated probation by failing to pay
restitution and being out of contact with her probation officer violated her due
process rights because the admissions should have been subject to the same More...
   $0 (09-15-2016 - IA)

United States of America v. Dale Edward White

Man Involved in Shooting Death of His Father Sentenced to Prison

An Iowa man who illegally possessed firearms was sentenced to more than three years in federal prison.

Dale Edward White, 25, from Nashua, Iowa, received the prison term after a April 27, 2016, guilty plea to possession of a firearm and ammunition as a prohibited person. White was prohibited from possessing firearm... More...
   $0 (08-31-2016 - IA)

STATE OF IOWA vs. CASEY FREDERIKSEN

A Floyd County jury convicted Casey Frederiksen of murder in the first
degree and sexual abuse in the first degree for offenses committed against the
five-year-old daughter of his live-in girlfriend. Frederiksen now challenges his
convictions on three grounds. First, he disputes the sufficiency of the State’s
proof that he was the perpetrator. Second, he contends the distric... More...
   $0 (08-11-2016 - IA)

STATE OF IOWA vs. ANTONIO HUTCHINS

Antonio Hutchins shot two men in a grocery store parking lot; one of the
men died. Hutchins admitted to the shootings but claimed self-defense. A jury
found him guilty of first-degree murder and willful injury.1 On appeal, Hutchins
contends (I) the district court unreasonably limited his opening statement and (II)
the district court abused its discretion in excluding (A) evi... More...
   $0 (08-11-2016 - IA)

RANDY ALAN ZAABEL vs. STATE OF IOWA

Zaabel first argues his trial counsel was ineffective in failing to present
certain evidence at trial. Zaabel has continued to correspond with his trial
lawyers, Kevin Fors and Leonard Holland, post-conviction. Zaabel claims he has
learned, since his first application for postconviction relief, Fors found additional
blood and brain tissue left at the Mining Boulevard site aft... More...
   $0 (08-10-2016 - IA)

STATE OF IOWA vs. SETH ANDREW TECHEL

Seth and Lisa Techel married in October 2011 and lived in rural Agency.
Lisa worked as a jailer in Washington County, but she had aspirations to become
a deputy sheriff like her father, Todd Caldwell, a longtime deputy sheriff in
Wapello County. Seth also aspired to become a deputy sheriff and had interned
with the Wapello County Sheriff’s Office. Seth worked as a security g... More...
   $0 (08-10-2016 - IA)

United States of America v. Bradley J. Prucha

Des Monies, IA - West Des Moines Man Sentenced to 70 Years in Prison for Retail Theft Scheme, Child Pornography, and Witness Tampering Charges

Bradley J. Prucha, 39, of West Des Moines, Iowa, was sentenced by Chief United States District Court Judge John A. Jarvey to a total of 840 months, or 70 years, in federal prison for executing a multistate retail theft scheme, producing and possess... More...
   $0 (06-27-2016 - IA)

BRENT LEE SANER vs. STATE OF IOWA

Saner was convicted of murder for his role in the 2004 killing of Michael
Harper Jr. After this court affirmed his conviction on direct appeal, see State v.
Saner, No. 05-0527, 2006 WL 3613680, at *1 (Iowa Ct. App. Dec. 13, 2006),
Saner filed his pro se PCR application in June 2007, alleging ineffective
assistance of counsel. The case languished for seven years. In July 2014... More...
   $0 (07-03-2016 - IA)

STATE OF IOWA vs. JOHN ARTHUR SENN JR.

In the early morning hours of Labor Day, September 1, 2014, Officer Brian Cuppy was on patrol in downtown Des Moines when he saw a truck eastbound on Court Avenue stop for a red light in the middle of the intersection with Water Street with its “back tires . . . more than five feet past the cross walk.” Officer Cuppy followed the truck, activated his police cruiser’s flashing lights, and initiate... More...   $0 (06-25-2016 - IA)

STATE OF IOWA vs. ALICIA RITENOUR

In January 2014, Ritenour was living with her daughter and her boyfriend,
Jacob Rauch,1 in a two bedroom apartment in Oskaloosa. Also living in the
apartment was Rauch’s best friend, Logan Cavan, and Ritenour’s fifteen-year-old
friend, A.P., who would stay with them while her father was out of town on
business. Ritenour and Rauch shared one bedroom, Ava had her own bedroom, <... More...
   $0 (06-19-2016 - IA)

STATE OF IOWA vs. ELDRA SCOTT JENNINGS JR

On July 27, 2014, at about 1:30 a.m., Iowa City police officers heard three
or four gunshots at the pedestrian mall in downtown Iowa City. Michael Dillon,
who operated a food vending cart, saw a man fire a weapon into the air and then
run from the scene. Diane Dillon, who was also working at the food vending cart,
crouched down when she heard the shots. Diane stated there we... More...
   $0 (06-19-2016 - IA)

STATE OF IOWA vs. MARQUICE VERRON MORRIS

Christopher Byers was shot and killed in his living room while selling drugs
to Marquice Morris and Joshua McCoy. Two other men were present at the time
of the homicide: Tanner Harvey and Bobby Page, Byers’ friends. Who killed
Byers and why? According to Page, Morris and McCoy pulled out handguns
during the transaction for the purpose of robbing Byers; either Morris or McCo... More...
   $0 (06-18-2016 - IA)

STATE OF IOWA vs. YARVON NATHANIEL RUSSELL

Yarvon Russell appeals his judgment and sentence for second-degree
murder. He raises a number of issues, including a challenge to the sufficiency of
the evidence supporting the jury’s finding of guilt. We find this issue requires
reversal and remand for a new trial, but we also address an evidentiary issue that
may arise on retrial.
The jury was instructed that the Sta... More...
   $0 (06-18-2016 - IA)

STATE OF IOWA vs. JAMES ALON SHORTER,

James Shorter appeals his judgment and sentence for second-degree
murder. He raises a number of claims, including a challenge to the sufficiency of
the evidence supporting the jury’s finding of guilt. We find this issue dispositive.
The jury was instructed that the State would have to prove the following
elements of second-degree murder:
1. On or about August 25, 2013... More...
   $0 (06-18-2016 - IA)

STATE OF IOWA vs. JOSHUA FRANK MCCOY

Christopher Byers was shot and killed in his living room while selling
marijuana to Marquice Morris and Joshua McCoy. Tanner Harvey and Bobby
Page, Byers’ friends, were in the home at the time of the shooting. According to
Page, Morris and McCoy pulled out handguns during the transaction for the
purpose of robbing Byers; either Morris or McCoy fired a shot into the floor and ... More...
   $0 (06-18-2016 - IA)

STATE OF IOWA vs. ZYRIAH HENRY FLOYD SCHLITTER

In this appeal from convictions of involuntary manslaughter by
commission of public offense and child endangerment resulting in death,
we primarily consider a claim of ineffective assistance of trial counsel
based on the failure to challenge the sufficiency of evidence to support
the submission of all four alternative means of committing the crime of
child endangerment. On our ... More...
   $0 (06-12-2016 - IA)

DES MOINES FLYING SERVICE, INC. vs. AERIAL SERVICES INC.; CEDAR VALLEY AVIATION, LLC; and KIRK P. FISHER

On February 20, 2009, Cedar Valley Aviation, a wholly owned subsidiary of Aerial Services, Inc. (ASI), brought a Piper 522AS (Cheyenne II) in for maintenance to Des Moines Flying Service, Inc. (DMFS). Among numerous other checks and repairs, DMFS noted both the pilot’s and copilot’s windshields were “delaminated” and installed new windshields. The replaced windshields were original to the aircra... More...   $0 (06-09-2016 - IA)

STATE OF IOWA vs. ISAIAH RICHARD SWEET

On May 11, 2012, seventeen-year-old Isaiah Sweet shot and killed Richard and Janet Sweet. Richard and Janet had cared for Sweet since he was four years old, as his biological mother was unable to do so. Richard was Sweet’s biological grandfather. Richard and Janet had been married for thirty years. Sweet was arrested three days after the murder. After being given Miranda warnings, Sweet desc... More...   $0 (05-27-2016 - IA)

JAMES LEE BLAIR vs. STATE OF IOWA

In 1982, Blair was convicted of first-degree murder and second-degree
theft. Our supreme court affirmed his convictions on direct appeal. See State v.
Blair, 347 N.W.2d 416, 418 (Iowa 1984). The denial of Blair’s first PCR
application, filed in 1984, was affirmed by this court. See Blair v. State, 492
N.W.2d 220, 221 (Iowa Ct. App. 1992).
In 2014, Blair filed his seco... More...
   $0 (05-26-2016 - IA)

STATE OF IOWA vs. EARL ANTONIO DUNN

At trial, the jury could have found the following facts. Dunn and the victim,
Kelon Tucker, had known each other since 2008, and they remained on good
terms until approximately June 2014, when Dunn began dating Tucker’s ex
girlfriend, Qiana Saunders.
On the evening of July 28, 2014, after drinking, Tucker, his new girlfriend,
and another female friend went to a gas stat... More...
   $0 (05-26-2016 - IA)

STATE OF IOWA vs. JERRY RAY MATTHEWS

In 2008, Matthews and Natalie Baylark met and became romantically
involved. Over the next few years, Matthews and Baylark had two children
together and continued an on-again-off-again relationship. In the summer of
2013, Matthew and Baylark ended their relationship. In late December 2013,
Baylark allowed Matthews to stay in her apartment with the children for a week.
Ar... More...
   $0 (05-26-2016 - IA)

STATE OF IOWA vs. BRANDON LYNN SCHAUL

Brandon Schaul appeals from his convictions for homicide by vehicle, in
violation of Iowa Code section 707.6A(1) (2013), and serious injury by vehicle, in
violation of Iowa Code section 707.6A(4). Schaul contends there is insufficient
evidence to support his convictions because the State failed to show he was
under the influence or that his intoxication caused the collision. ... More...
   $0 (05-13-2016 - IA)

STATE OF IOWA vs. WOODROW HALL

An early March snowstorm idled the four-member crew from Tri-State
Tower, who had traveled to Waverly to perform cell tower maintenance. Instead
of working, for most of the afternoon and evening of March 4, 2014, Brandon
Probus, Jared Kalkbrenner, Codie Dugan, and Ty Spitzner stayed in their rooms
at the Red Fox Inn or drank and played pool at the Happy Hour Pub. The pub’s More...
   $0 (05-12-2016 - IA)

STATE OF IOWA vs. KAI ROBERT MILLER

Kai Miller spent several hours at a Davenport bar, got behind the wheel of
his car, and crashed into another car. The driver and front-seat passenger in the
other car died. A third person seated in the back was seriously injured.
The State charged Miller with operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated
(first offense) as well as six additional crimes: two counts of homicide ... More...
   $0 (05-12-2016 - IA)

STATE OF IOWA vs. TOBY RYAN RICHARDS

On February 2, 2013, Poell was visiting Richards at his mother’s house in Davenport, where Richards lived. Both Poell and Richards were napping, Poell in bed and Richards on a couch in the same room. Beyond those facts, however, accounts of the day’s events diverge significantly.
3
A. Poell’s Testimony. According to Poell, she awoke to discover a message on her cell phone from anoth... More...
   $0 (05-09-2016 - IA)

STATE OF IOWA vs. TAJH ROSS

Tajh Ross appeals his convictions for murder in the first degree,
intimidation with a dangerous weapon, and going armed with intent. He asserts
the district court erred when it denied defense counsel’s motions to withdraw;
furthermore, by denying his request to proceed pro se, Ross claims the court
violated his Sixth Amendment right to represent himself. He also claims
i... More...
   $0 (04-28-2016 - IA)

ANGEL GARCIA-MIRANDAvs. STATE OF IOWA

A mother found her two young daughters severely beaten in their home;
the older daughter died from her injuries. The State charged Angel Garcia
Miranda with murder in the first degree, attempted murder, willful injury, and child
endangerment, and the case proceeded to trial. On the murder count, the jury
was instructed the State would have to prove Garcia-Miranda either: (a) “... More...
   $0 (04-28-2016 - IA)

United States of America v. DeShaun Anderson

Cedar Rapids Man Sentenced to 20 Years for Heroin and Fentanyl Conspiracy Resulting in Four Injuries, Two Deaths


A man who conspired to distribute heroin and fentanyl that led to multiple overdoses and deaths was sentenced today to 20 years in federal prison.

DeShaun Anderson, age 43, from Cedar Rapids, Iowa, received the prison term after a September 23, 2015 guilty plea to... More...
   $0 (04-01-2016 - IA)

NICK C. RHOADES vs. STATE OF IOWA

Nicholas Rhodes was HIV positive when he came in contact with A.P. on a social networking site. After exchanging messages, A.P invited Rhoades to his home. A.P. understood Rhoades to be HIV negative, in part because of Rhoades’s online profile. Rhoades and A.P. engaged in consensual unprotected oral and protected anal sex at A.P.’s home. When A.P. learned that Rhoades was HIV positive, he cont... More...   $0 (04-15-2016 - IA)

WYATT CHANDLER JOHNSON vs. STATE OF IOWA

On April 28, 2009, two groups of young men—affiliated with two separate
gangs—met at a park in Waterloo to fight out their differences. Johnson was not
a member of either gang but went to the park to watch the fight. Ultimately,
Johnson, who was armed with a knife, became involved in the altercation. Two
individuals, Steven Perry and Bryce Smith, were stabbed during the cour... More...
   $0 (04-06-2016 - IA)

FRED MOORE vs. STATE OF IOWA

Moore was convicted of first-degree murder in 1997 and sentenced to life
in prison. His conviction was affirmed on appeal. See State v. Moore, No. 98
1038, 1999 WL 1136569, at *4 (Iowa Ct. App. Dec. 13, 1999). Procedendo was
issued on March 15, 2000.
Moore filed his first PCR application in 2001, which was dismissed by the
district court and affirmed on appeal. Moore v... More...
   $0 (04-06-2016 - IA)

STATE OF IOWA vs. ASCENCION ANIBAL VARGAS

Vargas was charged with possession of more than five grams of a
simulated controlled substance with intent to deliver, in violation of section
124.401(1)(b)(7) (2013), a class B felony, and failure to affix a drug tax stamp, in
violation of sections 453B.3 and 453B.12, a class “D” felony. The State alleged
the substance was simulated methamphetamine. After a jury trial, Varga... More...
   $0 (04-06-2016 - IA)

STATE OF IOWA vs. DEMETRIUS S. RIMMER vs. RONA MURPHY vs. MELONICKA THOMAS

The trial information and minutes of testimony allege these facts, which we accept as true for purposes of this appeal.1 The defendants, Demetrius Rimmer, Rona Murphy, and Melonicka Thomas, participated in an insurance fraud ring that staged car accidents in Chicago, Illinois. Murphy and Thomas are Illinois residents, and their vehicles were registered in Illinois. Rimmer is a Milwaukee, Wiscon... More...   $0 (03-25-2016 - IA)

STATE OF IOWA vs. TYLOR DAVID PATRICK

Tylor Patrick drove a vehicle with five other occupants. He ran into a
ditch, hit a field driveway, and was airborne for about forty-six feet before landing
and rolling the vehicle. One of the occupants died.
The State charged Patrick with vehicular homicide and operating a motor
vehicle while intoxicated, first offense. See Iowa Code §§ 321J.2, 707.6A (2013).
The jur... More...
   $0 (03-23-2016 - IA)

STATE OF IOWA vs. JOHN WILLIAM NESS

On April 3, 2014, at 7:29 p.m., an employee from the Tobacco Hut called
local police and reported that approximately three minutes earlier, a patron had
attempted to purchase alcohol at their drive-through and had hit the building.
The employees refused to sell the man alcohol and he drove away. As he did
so, the man had “peeled out” of the driveway. The reporting employee wa... More...
   $0 (03-23-2016 - IA)

STATE OF IOWA vs. STEPHEN ALLEN BOEDING

We incorporate the district court’s statement of the factual background:
Stephen Boeding, (hereinafter, “Boeding”) and the decedent, Kevin O’ConnelI (hereinafter, “O’Connell”) had been friends since meeting in Country Oaks [(a substance abuse program)] in 2007. The evidence supports that they were also intermittent sexual partners. On or about May 18, 2013, Boeding sent text messages to O’... More...
   $0 (03-23-2016 - IA)

 
 
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