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State v. Petersen

Court of Appeal of Iowa

May 30, 2013

STATE OF IOWA, Plaintiff-Appellee,
v.
THOMAS J. PETERSEN, Defendant-Appellant.

         Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Butler County, Christopher C. Foy, Judge.

         A defendant appeals his judgment and sentence for first degree murder, contending (1) the record lacks sufficient evidence to support the jury's finding of guilt and (2) several evidentiary rulings require reversal.

          Mark C. Smith, State Appellate Defender, and Patricia Reynolds, Assistant Appellate Defender, for appellant.

          Thomas J. Miller, Attorney General, Tyler J. Buller and Douglas Hammerand, Assistant Attorneys General, Gregory M. Lievens, County Attorney, and Martin Peterson, Assistant County Attorney, for appellee.

          Heard by Vogel, P.J., and Vaitheswaran and Bower, JJ.

          VAITEHSWARAN, J.

         Thomas Petersen appeals his judgment and sentence for first degree murder. He contends (1) the record lacks sufficient evidence to support the jury's finding of guilt and (2) several evidentiary rulings require reversal.

         I. Sufficiency of the Evidence

         The jury was instructed that the State would have to prove the following:

1. On or about June 4, 2011, Defendant stabbed Judy Renee Petersen.
2. Judy Renee Petersen died as a result of being stabbed.
3. Defendant acted with malice aforethought.
4. Defendant acted willfully, deliberately, premeditatedly and with a specific intent to kill Judy Renee Petersen.

         Petersen contends there was insufficient evidence to establish he acted with "malice aforethought" and "with a specific intent" to kill Judy. These terms were defined ...


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