Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

State of Iowa v. James Brandon Dixon

December 12, 2012

STATE OF IOWA, PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE,
v.
JAMES BRANDON DIXON, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.



Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Des Moines County, John G. Linn, Judge.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Miller, S.J.

Defendant appeals his convictions for robbery in the first degree, burglary in the first degree, and attempted burglary in the third degree. AFFIRMED.

Considered by Potterfield, P.J., Bower, J., and Miller, S.J.*fn1

I. Background Facts & Proceedings

At about 5:00 a.m. on July 25, 2010, Kimberly Peterson drove to the Crazy Coyote Bar and Grill in Burlington, Iowa, where she had a part-time job cleaning the establishment. As she pulled up she saw a tall, slender man wearing all black clothes, gloves, and a ski mask beside the back door. She put down her driver's side window and yelled, "hey, what are you doing," or "hey, what's going on." She saw the man coming towards her and attempted to put her car in gear to drive away, but before she could do so, she was hit in the head. The blow knocked her glasses from her face. She was thereafter not able to see much due to facial swelling and blood.

Peterson realized the man was jabbing her with a crowbar, and after a struggle the crowbar fell onto the passenger-side seat of her car. She and the man continued to struggle, hitting and scratching each other. At one point she was able to pull off the ski mask but was not able to see him clearly. The man put his upper body into the car and tried to choke Peterson. She bit his finger, and they continued to fight. The man got out a pry bar, and it fell between the middle console and front seat of Peterson's car. Eventually, Peterson was able to raise the window and drive away. She went to a nearby Kum & Go, where the clerk called 911. Peterson received medical treatment for her injuries.

Police officers collected blood samples from Peterson's vehicle. Testing of a sample matched the DNA of James Dixon. The probability of the DNA sample belonging to someone else is less than one in 100 billion.

Dixon was charged with robbery in the first degree, in violation of Iowa Code sections 711.1 and 711.2 (2009); burglary in the first degree, in violation of sections 713.1 and 713.3; and attempted burglary in the third degree, in violation of sections 713.1 and 713.6B. At the jury trial, after the State presented its evidence as outlined here, Dixon filed a motion for judgment of acquittal, which argued in part that the State had not adequately proven the charge of first-degree burglary because it had not shown Peterson's vehicle was an occupied structure, as defined by section 702.12. The district court denied the motion for judgment of acquittal.

Dixon presented only one witness in his defense, Laura Teesdale. Teesdale testified Dixon was staying at her home on July 25, 2010, and he was there at about 5:00 a.m. In cross-examination, the prosecutor asked Teesdale about prior convictions for fifth-degree theft in January 1997, October 1997, December 1999, and September 2008.

During the deliberations, the jury sent out a note stating they were unable to reach a unanimous verdict. Over some objections by defense counsel as to certain content of the instruction, the court gave the jurors a verdict-urging instruction. The jury found Dixon guilty of first-degree robbery, first-degree burglary, and third-degree attempted burglary. He was sentenced to be incarcerated for twenty-five years on the robbery charge, twenty-five years on the burglary charge, and two years on the attempted burglary charge, all to be served consecutively. Dixon appeals his convictions.

II. Sufficiency of the Evidence

For the charge of first-degree burglary, the State alleged Dixon entered Peterson's vehicle, the vehicle was an occupied structure, Peterson was present in the vehicle, Dixon did not have permission or authority to enter the vehicle, Dixon had the specific intent to commit an assault, and he was in possession of a dangerous weapon or he intentionally or recklessly inflicted bodily injury on her. Dixon claims the district court should have granted his motion for judgment of acquittal because there was insufficient evidence in the record to show Peterson's vehicle was an occupied structure.

We review claims challenging the sufficiency of evidence in a criminal case for the correction of errors at law. State v. Dalton, 674 N.W.2d 111, 116 (Iowa 2004). We will uphold the jury's verdict when it is supported by substantial evidence. State v. Hagedorn, 679 N.W.2d 666, 668 (Iowa 2004). "Evidence is substantial if it would convince a rational fact finder that the defendant is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt." State v. Quinn, 691 N.W.2d 403, 407 (Iowa 2005). We consider all record evidence, not just that supporting guilt, but view the evidence in the light most favorable to the State, "including ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.