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State v. Hanes

Court of Appeal of Iowa

May 30, 2013

STATE OF IOWA, Plaintiff-Appellee,
v.
ROBERT LOUIS HANES, Defendant-Appellant.

          Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Black Hawk County, Bradley J. Harris, Judge. Robert Hanes appeals from his conviction of willful injury causing serious injury.

          Mark C. Smith, State Appellate Defender, and Martha J. Lucey, Assistant Appellate Defender, for appellant.

          Robert Louis Hanes, Newton, appellant pro se.

          Thomas J. Miller, Attorney General, Kevin Cmelik, Assistant Attorney General, Thomas J. Ferguson, County Attorney, and Brook Jacobsen, Assistant County Attorney, for appellee.

          Considered by Eisenhauer, C.J., and Potterfield and Tabor, JJ.

          POTTERFIELD, J.

         Robert Hanes appeals from his conviction of willful injury causing serious injury. He contends the district court violated his due process rights in not allowing him access to the mental health records of the purported victim. We affirm.

         I. Background Facts and Proceedings.

         According to Nathanial Taylor, about a week before April 28, 2007, he met Robert Hanes in a park. Hanes had given him $2.25 to purchase gizzards for Hanes, but Taylor did not purchase the gizzards or return the money. Midmorning on April 28, Taylor was walking to a cigar store to redeem bottles and cans. Hanes encountered Taylor on the street near a park. Hanes asked Taylor, "Remember me? You took my money." Hanes was angry and yelling. Taylor offered Hanes his cans, but Hanes pulled out a sharp object Taylor described as having a black blade and said, "I'm going to kill you" and stabbed Taylor twice in the face. Taylor then grabbed Hanes's hand in which he was holding the blade, hit Hanes in the head, and kicked Hanes until Hanes said, "Stop." Taylor did stop; Hanes then picked up a bottle of whiskey he had set down earlier and walked into the park.

         Hanes was convicted after a jury trial of willful injury causing serious injury in violation of Iowa Code section 708.4(1) (2005). He was first convicted in 2008, but the conviction was reversed as a result of errors in the jury instructions. See State v. Hanes, 790 N.W.2d 545 (Iowa 2010). After the reversal, Hanes did not waive his right to a speedy trial and the ninety-day speedy trial clock started to run when procedendo issued on December 6, 2010.[1] See State v. Zaehringer, 306 N.W.2d 792, 794-95 (Iowa 1981) (holding that a criminal case in which a mistrial or remand has occurred, absent exceptions, must be retried within ninety days after the mistrial or remand).

         Trial was scheduled to begin on Tuesday, February 22, 2011. On Friday February 18, Hanes filed an "application for mental health records of alleged victim." In his application, Hanes asserted that "[b]ased upon a review of a deposition of the alleged victim, the defendant has a reasonable basis to believe the alleged victim's mental health records are likely to contain exculpatory evidence tending to create a reasonable doubt as to the defendant's guilt."

         The State moved to continue the February 22 trial due to the unavailability of a witness. Hanes objected, but the court found good cause and rescheduled trial for March 1.

         On the morning of March 1, counsel for Hanes asked that the court consider the application for mental health records. The prosecutor reported he had seen the application but did not have a copy.[2] The State resisted on the ground that the "discovery deadline has long since lapsed." A hearing on the application was held that afternoon, following jury selection. Counsel for Hanes explained that Taylor stated in a discovery deposition, taken in February 2008 before the first trial, that he had been diagnosed with schizophrenia and hospitalized for one month in 2005. Taylor had also stated during the deposition that he took medications for his mental health condition and had discontinued certain medicines. Counsel for Hanes asserted,

On just my general knowledge based on internet search of schizophrenia you can suffer from hallucinations and delusions from that mental health condition, and it would be our purpose in getting these mental health records to find out specifically whether or not he suffered from hallucinations or delusions at any time prior to his diagnoses, and any time after his diagnosis that if these medications were changed or went off certain medications ...

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