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State of Iowa v. Cami Leigh Munger

May 15, 2013

STATE OF IOWA, PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE,
v.
CAMI LEIGH MUNGER, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.



Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Polk County, Gregory Brandt, District Associate Judge (motion to dismiss and motion to suppress), Scott D. Rosenberg, Judge (bench trial).

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

Cami Munger appeals the denial of two pretrial motions and her conviction and sentence for operating while intoxicated. AFFIRMED.

Considered by Eisenhauer, C.J., and Danilson and Bower, JJ.

Cami Munger*fn1 appeals the denial of two pretrial motions and her conviction and sentence for operating while intoxicated (OWI), second offense. Upon our review, both pretrial motions were properly denied. In a bench trial, Munger stipulated to the element of being under the influence. At sentencing, she stipulated that she was previously convicted of OWI. Because Munger's statements that she drove the vehicle were sufficiently corroborated with other proof and there was sufficient evidence to support the verdict, we affirm.

I. Background Facts and Proceedings.

Bob and Martha Munger called the Ankeny police department on April 27, 2011 to report that their daughter Munger was trespassing on their property. A no-contact order prohibited Munger's presence at her parent's home. Officer Parks responded to the call and found Investigator Ryan King of the Des Moines Police Department with Bob Munger. King had previously arranged to meet with Munger to give her citations from an earlier, unrelated incident. When she did not appear for their scheduled meeting, Officer King called Munger and learned that she was involved in a trespass incident at her parents' home. He went to the Munger residence to deliver the citations.

When King arrived, he observed that Munger "appeared to be under the influence of something" and "just couldn't control her body." Officer King asked how she got to the residence, and Munger replied that she had driven there. King then requested assistance of drug recognition experts (DREs). Iowa State Patrol Troopers Griggs and Sonnenfelt responded. Sonnenfelt concluded Munger was under the influence of drugs.

Trooper Griggs requested Munger's car keys, which she produced from within her sweatshirt. The trooper noted that Munger's vehicle was filled with so many belongings that he believed there was no room for a passenger. The officers had to remove two large bags from the front passenger area to gain access to the glove box. However, Munger is small in stature, and Officer King conceded that while it would not have been legal for an individual to ride in the passenger seat given the contents of the vehicle, it may have been possible for someone of Munger's size to do so.

Despite her previous admission that she drove to the residence, when told she was being investigated for OWI, Munger told Trooper Sonnenfelt that her friend Cattie drove the vehicle. However, she subsequently admitted for a second time that she had driven the car.

At trial Daniel Durlam testified he drove Munger to her parents' residence and that she had been sitting in the front passenger seat. He testified he gave the car keys to Martha Munger and walked back to his house.

Although Martha did not observe the vehicle approach, her testimony confirmed that Durlam brought Munger to the residence and gave her Munger's car keys. Martha then gave the keys to her husband, Bob, and told him that Durlam brought Munger to the residence.

Bob testified that he got the keys from Martha and tried to get Munger to leave, but Munger indicated that she was not capable of driving. Bob did not witness the vehicle approach; however, he observed Durlam walking away from his home.

Linda Cole lives next-door to the Mungers. She was visiting the Munger household during the afternoon of April 27, 2011, and testified that Munger and Durlam walked into the house and gave Martha the car keys. She, like all other witnesses, did not observe the vehicle as it approached the house.

The State charged Munger with OWI second offense, in violation of Iowa Code section 321J.2, on June 28, 2011. She entered a plea of not guilty. On August 11, she filed a motion to suppress alleging that there was no reasonable suspicion to justify her detention and investigation for operating while intoxicated. On October 10, she filed a motion to dismiss alleging there was no corroboration of her statements to law enforcement officers and no other proof she committed the offense. The State resisted the motion as untimely. On November 1, Munger filed an amended motion to dismiss asserting the State had produced no evidence of guilt. The State resisted the motion, noting it was not the appropriate device with which to challenge sufficiency ...


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