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Iowa Death Law
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)

United States v. Trey Boykin

Trey Michael Boykin was convicted of one count of kidnapping, in violation
of 18 U.S.C. § 1201, and one count of conspiracy to distribute marijuana, in violation
of 21 U.S.C. §§ 841(a)(1), 841(b)(1)(D), and 846. On appeal, Boykin argues that the
1The Honorable Patrick J. Schiltz, United States District Judge for the District
of Minnesota, sitting by designation.
superseding ind... More...
   $0 (07-24-2015 - IA)

State of Iowa v. Stephen Robert Jonas

Des Moines, IA - The State of Iowa charged Stephen Robert Jonas, age 50, with second-degree murder in the stabbin gdeath of Zachary Paulsen, age 21, on August 23, 2014 in the lot behind Dean Paulsen & Sons Contractors. Paulsen was stabbed 35 times.

The State claimed that Jonas had made a sexual advance at Paulsen a week prior to the stabbing.

Jonas claimed self defense claiming... More...
   $0 (07-18-2015 - IA)

State of Iowa v. Yvette Marie Louisell

Recent decisions of this court have explored the constitutionality of
criminal sentences for juvenile offenders. See generally State v. Lyle, 854
N.W.2d 378 (Iowa 2014); State v. Ragland, 836 N.W.2d 107 (Iowa 2013);
State v. Pearson, 836 N.W.2d 88 (Iowa 2013); State v. Null, 836 N.W.2d
41 (Iowa 2013). Today we consider the nature and extent of a court’s
discretion in resenten... More...
   $0 (06-26-2015 - 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)

Danny Homan v. Terry Branstad

During the 2013 legislative session, the Iowa General Assembly appropriated funds for the operation of the Iowa Juvenile Home (IJH) in Toledo for the 2014 fiscal year (July 1, 2013 to June 30, 2014). Approximately five months into that fiscal year, the Iowa Department of Human Services (DHS) decided to close the home and find alternative, judicially approved placements for the twenty-one girls who... More...   $0 (05-29-2015 - IA)

United States of America v. Jonathan Youngbear

Cedar Rapids, IA - A man who committed murder on the Meskwaki Nation Settlement was sentenced to twenty-five years in federal prison.

Jonathan Youngbear, 21, from the Meskwaki Nation Settlement, Iowa, received the prison term after a January 28, 2015, guilty plea to one count of second degree murder in “Indian Country.”

In a plea agreement, Youngbear admitted that he stabbed ... More...
   $0 (05-13-2015 - IA)

United States of America v. Mary Ann Ramos

A mother and her son who were convicted of selling synthetic cannabinoids (commonly known as “K2”) and synthetic cathinones (commonly known as “bath salts”) from two eastern Iowa businesses were sentenced today in federal court in Cedar Rapids to [several years in] federal prison.

“Synthetic drugs are illegal and present a grave danger to our community, particularly ou... More...
   $0 (03-02-2015 - IA)

United States of America v. Alvin Stanley Briggs, Jr.

Cedar Rapids, IA - A man whose conviction for distributing heroin to a person who died of a heroin overdose was overturned earlier this year was sentenced in federal court to serve 30 years in prison.

Alvin Stanley Briggs, Jr., age 51, from Dubuque, Iowa, received the prison term after a October 30, 2014, guilty plea to distribution of heroin resulting in death. Briggs initially pled gui... More...
   $0 (12-23-2014 - IA)

United States of America v. Alvin Stanley Briggs, Jr.

Cedar Rapids, IA - A man who sold heroin to a person who overdosed and died from using the heroin pled guilty for the second time on October 30, 2014.

Alvin Stanley Briggs, Jr., age 50, from Dubuque, Iowa, was convicted of distribution of heroin resulting in death. At the plea hearing, Briggs admitted that on July 3, 2012, he sold $100 worth of heroin to an individual identified as S.R.... More...
   $0 (10-31-2014 - IA)

United States of America v. Ramon Cortez Freeman

Cedar Rapids, IA - A Cedar Rapids man who distributed heroin that caused a heroin overdose death pled guilty on November 24, 2014, in federal court in Cedar Rapids.

Ramon Cortez Freeman, age 35, from Cedar Rapids, Iowa, was convicted of distribution of heroin resulting in death, three counts of distributing heroin, and being a felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition.

At t... More...
   $0 (11-26-2014 - IA)

Christine Wagner v. State of Iowa

Christine Wagner, individually and as the executor of Janice Brissey’s estate, appeals from the district court’s denial of her motion for new trial and judgment notwithstanding the verdict. She asserts the verdict is inconsistent with the facts of the case because the driver of the vehicle that struck Brissey’s car was—at least to some degree—negligent. Because we conclude that, given th... More...   $0 (10-15-2014 - IA)

IN RE THE MARRIAGE OF MATTHEW R. SEVERIN AND BOUAPHAN S. SEVERIN Upon the Petition of MATTHEW R. SEVERIN, Petitioner-Appellant/Cross-Appellee, And Concerning BOUAPHAN S. SEVERIN, Respondent-Appellee/Cross-Appellant.

Matthew Severin appeals from the decree dissolving his marriage to Bouaphan Severin. Matthew asserts (1) the district court’s award of alimony is excessive and (2) the district court erred in awarding Bouaphan the marital home without requiring a cash equalization payment to Matthew of half the home’s equity. Bouaphan cross-appeals arguing the award of alimony is insufficient. We affirm as to ... More...   $0 (08-13-2014 - IA)

STATE OF IOWA, Plaintiff-Appellee, vs. KENDALL LEE WARE, Defendant-Appellant.

Kendall Lee Ware appeals his conviction for homicide by vehicle by operating while intoxicated, in violation of Iowa Code sections 321J.2 and 707.6A(1) (2011). Ware claims the district court erred in refusing to instruct on homicide by vehicle by reckless driving as a lesser included offense. See Iowa Code §§ 321.277, 707.6A(2)(a). We find homicide by vehicle by reckless driving is not a lesser ... More...   $0 (08-14-2014 - IA)

STATE OF IOWA, Plaintiff-Appellee, vs. JUSTIN DONALD HUFFMAN, Defendant-Appellant.

Justin Huffman appeals his conviction and sentence for theft in the second degree, pursuant to Iowa Code sections 714.1(1) and 714.2(2) (2011). Huffman maintains there was insufficient evidence to support the guilty verdict. He also maintains the district court erred by accepting inconsistent verdicts. Because we find substantial evidence supports Huffman’s conviction and the verdicts were not l... More...   $0 (08-13-2014 - IA)

IN RE THE MARRIAGE OF NEWELL JOSEPH SCHMIDT AND MARSHA GAIL SCHMIDT Upon the Petition of NEWELL JOSEPH SCHMIDT, Petitioner-Appellant/Cross-Appellee, And Concerning MARSHA GAIL SCHMIDT, Respondent-Appellee/Cross-Appellant.

Newell Joseph Schmidt (Joe) appeals from the district court’s order for spousal support issued with its decree of dissolution of his marriage to Marsha Schmidt. He asserts the district court improperly awarded Marsha lifetime spousal support and requests the support order be modified to expire in three years. Marsha cross-appeals the order and requests the support order be modified to increase t... More...   $0 (08-13-2014 - IA)

Martha Duban v. Waverly Sales Co.

Thomas and Martha Duban brought a negligence action against Waverly Sales
Company (Waverly) arising out of injuries Martha sustained when she was stepped
on by a horse at a Waverly draft horse auction. The district court1 denied Waverly’s
1The Honorable Jon Stuart Scoles, United States Magistrate Judge for the
Northern District of Iowa, to whom the case was referred for final dis... More...
   $237535 (07-28-2014 - 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)

Theresa Huck v. Wyeth, Inc. d/b/a Schwarz Pharma,Inc. and PLIVA, Inc.

This products liability action against pharmaceutical companies presents several issues involving the interplay between state tort law and federal prescription drug regulation. This case is one of many litigated in state and federal courts nationwide alleging severe side effects from prolonged use of metoclopramide, sold under the brand name Reglan and as a competing generic formulation. The plain... More...   $0 (07-11-2014 - IA)

Velma J. Hussemann v. Herbert J. Hussemann, Jr.

This conflict-of-laws case requires us to determine whose state law governs the enforceability of mutual clauses in a postnuptial agreement that waived each spouse’s elective share. Two Florida residents were married in Florida in 1991. A few months later, they signed a postnuptial agreement in Florida. The agreement expressly provided that Florida law would apply. The married couple subsequentl... More...   $0 (05-23-2014 - IA)

United States of America v. Lafayette James Twyner, Jr.

The United States Attorney for the Southern District of Iowa, Nicholas A. Klinefeldt, announces that Lafayette James Twyner, Jr., age 64, a former doctor in Newton, Iowa, pleaded guilty in United States District Court on February 21, 2014, to one count of health care fraud and one count of illegal distribution of a schedule III controlled substance resulting in death, announced United States Attor... More...   $0 (02-21-2014 - IA)


Melissa Haakenson, on behalf of the estate of her deceased husband Troy Haakenson, as parent and next best friend of her children, and in her individual capacity, filed suit against the Chicago, Central & Pacific Railroad Company, d/b/a the Illinois Central Gulf Railroad Company (“Chicago Central”), as well as two of its employees, George Peterson Jr. and Rick Mabe (collectively, hereinafter â... More...   $0 (03-12-2014 - IA)

United States of America v. Lafayette James Twyner, Jr

The United States Attorney for the Southern District of Iowa, Nicholas A. Klinefeldt, announces that Lafayette James Twyner, Jr., age 64, a former doctor in Newton, Iowa, pleaded guilty in United States District Court on February 21, 2014, to one count of health care fraud and one count of illegal distribution of a schedule III controlled substance resulting in death, announced United States Attor... More...   $0 (02-21-2014 - 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)

Lawrence W. Hamby v. State of Iowa

Lawrence Hamby appeals from the denial of his application for postconviction relief. He argues he was provided ineffective assistance of counsel when his trial lawyers failed to move to suppress statements he made to police during four interviews and when his appellate counsel failed to appeal the denial of his motion for new trial. We affirm.

I. Facts and Proceedings.

This is th... More...
   $0 (02-05-2014 - IA)

SHERRY A. DUVAL, JODI R. FRANKLIN, and JOEL A. FRANKLIN, Plaintiffs-Appellees, vs. JAY FOX, As Trustee of the Residuary Trusts of Kenneth L. Albertson and of Vera A. Albertson, Defendant-Appellant.

Sherry Duval and her children, Jodi and Joel Franklin, are beneficiaries of two testamentary residual trusts established pursuant to the last will and testament of Sherry’s parents, Kenny and Veva Albertson. The Albertsons’ wills named as trustee of both trusts Jay Fox, who was a cousin, friend, and neighbor of the Albertsons. Following Veva’s death in 1989, Fox became trustee of the trusts,... More...   $0 (12-18-2013 - IA)


This legal malpractice action presents three questions of first impression. In Hook v. Lippolt, we held the defendants in plaintiff Pamela Hook’s personal injury action—the State of Iowa and a volunteer driver for the Iowa Department of Human Services—were entitled to summary judgment under the statute of limitations and volunteer-immunity provisions of the Iowa Tort Claims Act, respectively... More...   $0 (01-08-2014 - IA)


The district court modified Kenneth Michael’s obligation to pay Melissa Michael traditional alimony, concluding the payments should cease when Kenneth reaches age sixty-seven. The court’s order also terminated immediately Kenneth’s obligation to pay for Melissa’s health insurance. The court of appeals affirmed the termination of Kenneth’s health insurance obligation, but found no substan... More...   $0 (11-15-2013 - IA)

William L. Burkhalter v. Steve P. Burkhalter

William Burkhalter challenged an unfavorable modification of his father’s revocable trust that occurred just prior to his father’s death. William claimed his brother, Steven Burkhalter, unduly influenced their father and tortiously interfered with the trust. William also alleged his father lacked the necessary testamentary intent when he made the modification. At trial, the district court dire... More...   $0 (12-20-2013 - IA)


This case requires us to decide whether a financial advisor to an individual can be sued by identified beneficiaries of the individual’s signed written estate plan when, due to the advisor’s allegedly negligent performance of his duties, those beneficiaries do not receive what they were supposed to get under the plan. We conclude the rationale of Schreiner v. Scoville, 410 N.W.2d 679, 682 (Iow... More...   $0 (12-27-2013 - 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)

State of Iowa v. David Lee Masingale

David Masingale appeals from the sentence imposed following his guilty pleas to operating while intoxicated, third offense, in violation of Iowa Code section 321J.2 (2011), and driving while barred, in violation of Iowa Code section 321.561. He asserts the district court failed to state on the record its reasons for imposing consecutive sentences and argues, in the alternative, that the court abus... More...   $0 (06-12-2013 - IA)

City of Waterloo v. Tim Everett

This case involves the City of Waterloo’s efforts to be reimbursed under Iowa Code section 411.22 (2011) for its payment of medical expenses and temporary disability benefits on behalf of an injured police officer. The district court rejected the city’s indemnification claim to proceeds of the officer’s settlement of his tort claim against third parties. Because section 411.22 only contempla... More...   $0 (05-16-2013 - IA)

Estate of John A. Herman v. Overhead Door Company of Des Moines, Inc.

After John Herman’s death, the Estate of John Herman was substituted as the appellant in the instant action. The Estate appeals a district court decision upholding the workers’ compensation commissioner’s denial of benefits for Herman’s right foot injury. Because we find the commissioner’s outright rejection of uncontroverted medical opinions is not supported by substantial evidence when... More...   $0 (05-16-2013 - IA)

Dale Boelman v. Grinnell Mutual Reinsurance Company

This appeal involves the question of whether an insurance policy provides coverage to a custom farming operation. Both parties filed motions for summary judgment. The district court overruled the insurance company’s motion for summary judgment. The district court granted the insureds’ motion for summary judgment and entered judgment for the insureds based on the reasonable expectations doctrin... More...   $0 (02-01-2013 - 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)

Betty Gunderson v. Dianna K. Engelbrecht

Betty Gunderson appeals an order granting partial summary judgment on her June 16, 2010 petition seeking compensation for care-taking services she performed for Shirley Marts. The district court found the two-year statute of limitations at Iowa Code section 614.1(8) (2009) barred Gunderson’s claim for unpaid wages for the period from January 2005 through June 2006. Gunderson argues that because ... More...   $0 (01-24-2013 - IA)

Estate of Andy Samuel Ayala-Gomez v. Steven D. Sohn, M.D.

A child’s estate appeals a summary judgment ruling concluding a medical malpractice action was not timely filed.

I. Background Facts and Proceedings

The record reveals the following undisputed facts. See Iowa R. Civ. P. 1.981(3) (requiring summary judgment movant to show the absence of any genuine issue of material fact). In 2008, the parents of a one-year-old child took him to a h... More...
   $0 (10-17-2012 - IA)

Julianne R. Schenkelberg v. Gary W. Schenkelberg

On further review, a spouse asks us to determine the validity of a premarital agreement, the fairness of a property settlement, the sufficiency of the spousal support, and the denial of expert fees incurred by a spouse’s attorney in preparation of the case for trial. The court of appeals affirmed the district court decision upholding the premarital agreement, the property settlement, and the awa... More...   $0 (10-26-2012 - IA)

Kayla Nemmers v. Ford Motor Company

Plaintiff Kayla Nemmers filed a products liability action against Defendant Ford Motor Company, alleging that a lap-only seatbelt installed in the front-center seat of a 2002 Ford F-250 pickup failed to restrain her torso during an accident. After trial, the jury returned a verdict in favor of Ford. Nemmers appeals, arguing the district court committed reversible error 1 in its evidentiary rulings... More...   $0 (07-11-2012 - IA)

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