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State v. Willet

Court of Appeal of Iowa

July 24, 2013

STATE OF IOWA, Plaintiff-Appellee,
v.
TRAVIS DEWAYNE WILLET, Defendant-Appellant.

Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Scott County, Mark D. Cleve, Judge.

Travis Dewayne Willett appeals his conviction for the crime of operating while intoxicated third offense, in violation of Iowa Code sections 321J.2(5), 321J.2(2)(c) and 321J.21 (2011).

Joel Walker, Davenport, for appellant.

Thomas J. Miller, Attorney General, Kevin Cmelik, Assistant Attorney General, Michael J. Walton, County Attorney, and Joseph Grubisich, Assistant County Attorney, for appellee.

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

BOWER, J.

Travis Dewayne Willett appeals his conviction for the crime of operating while intoxicated, third offense, in violation of Iowa code sections 321J.2(5), 321J.2(2)(c) and 321J.21 (2011). Willett argues his constitutional right to confront and cross-examine the State's witnesses was violated when the district court admitted records of his prior convictions. He also argues the evidence concerning his identity was insufficient to support his conviction. Because we find the records were not testimonial and there is sufficient evidence establishing Willett's identity, we affirm.

I. Background Proceedings and Facts

Willett was arrested and charged with the crime of operating while intoxicated third offense on June 18, 2011. A bifurcated jury trial was held. The first portion was to determine whether Willett was guilty of the crime of operating while intoxicated. Following a guilty verdict, a second trial was held to determine whether Willett had two prior convictions for operating while intoxicated. During the second trial, the State introduced certified records showing two prior convictions. Willett objected to the records on Confrontation Clause grounds.[1]

The jury determined that Willett had two prior convictions for operating while intoxicated. He was sentenced to an indeterminate term of imprisonment not to exceed five years with a mandatory minimum thirty-day sentence.

II. Standard of review

Constitutional claims arguing the Confrontation Clause are reviewed de novo. State v. Shipley, 757 N.W.2d 228, 231 (Iowa 2008). We review the sufficiency of the evidence claim for correction of errors at law. State v. Lane, 743 N.W.2d 178, 181 (Iowa 2007). Court findings supported by substantial evidence are binding upon us. Id. Substantial evidence is evidence which could be relied upon by a rational fact finder to establish guilt. Id. Evidence is viewed in the light most favorable to the State granting all legitimate inferences from the record. Id.

III. Discussion

A. Confrontation Clause


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