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State v. Cody

Court of Appeal of Iowa

June 26, 2013

STATE OF IOWA, Plaintiff-Appellee,
v.
LARRY EUGENE CODY, Defendant-Appellant.

Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Black Hawk County, Bradley J. Harris, Judge.

Defendant appeals his conviction, arguing trial counsel rendered ineffective assistance.

Mark C. Smith, State Appellate Defender, and Dennis D. Hendrickson, Assistant Appellate Defender, for appellant.

Thomas J. Miller, Attorney General, Richard J. Bennett, Assistant Attorney General, Thomas J. Ferguson, County Attorney, and Joel Dalrymple, Assistant County Attorney, for appellee.

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

EISENHAUER, C.J.

Larry Cody appeals from his conviction for first-degree harassment.[1] He claims his trial attorney rendered ineffective assistance by failing to object to the jury instructions. We affirm.

Cody dated Christa for two years. Amy, Christa's daughter, knew Cody. On May 9, 2011, Amy was at her mother's apartment when Cody started a series of calls to Christa that ended at 1:30 a.m. Amy started recording the calls because Cody was "threatening to kill [Christa]" and "talk[ing]" about killing her with a gun."

Amy and her mother watched out a bedroom window after the calls stopped. Amy observed Cody "walking up next to the abandoned house and threw himself to the ground in the grass." After seeing Cody dive to the ground, Amy crawled into the living room and hid in a closet. Amy hid because "he said he was going to shoot so I didn't want to be standing in front of the window if it were to happen." While Amy was calling the police, she heard a shot. The State introduced a photo exhibit showing a bullet hole penetrating the bedroom window where Amy had looked out at Cody.

Christa testified she observed Cody walking and carrying what she thought was a 2" x 4" piece of wood. Christa joined Amy in the living room and then heard a "big bang . . . a gunshot."

Nicole and her sister, Shashone, lived across the street from Christa's apartment building. Nicole identified Cody as the man who spoke with her about a week before May 9. Cody identified himself to Nicole as Larry, an undercover police officer. Cody asked Nicole to watch Christa and Amy's apartment and call him when "she saw people up there." Cody stated Christa and Amy were selling drugs.

On the night of the shooting, Nicole saw Cody twice. First, Cody spoke to her while she was on the front porch. When Cody told Nicole she should have watched "the ladies across the street, " she responded by going inside to get her father. When Nicole and her father returned, she saw Cody "walking back down the street."

After midnight, the sisters heard noises as they were watching television. First Nicole and then Shashone went outside. Nicole observed Cody on the ground "doing the army crawl on the side of a nearby house." Cody was crawling in the direction of the apartment building. Nicole saw Cody run across the street and jump "on top of the air conditioner unit and [aim] the gun at the window." After the shot, Cody "jumped off, [ran by Nicole, and said], 'I told you to watch them crazy bitches.'" Shashone testified she saw Cody "on top of the air conditioner, and I heard a loud noise and then he jumped off and ran."

When the police arrived, an officer found a loaded shotgun in a nearby alley with one spent shell casing in the chamber. Stopped by police one block from the apartment, Cody admitted he was ...


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