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State v. Hoover

Court of Appeal of Iowa

August 21, 2013

STATE OF IOWA, Plaintiff-Appellee,
v.
NIHJL SHAQUILLE RAHMA HOOVER, Defendant-Appellant.

Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Scott County, Marlita A. Greve, Judge.

Nihjl Hoover appeals his conviction for robbery in the first degree.

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

Thomas J. Miller, Attorney General, Linda J. Hines, Assistant Attorney General, Michael J. Walton, County Attorney, and Dion Trowers, Assistant County Attorney, for appellee.

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

BOWER, J.

Nihjl Hoover appeals his conviction for robbery in the first degree, in violation of Iowa Code section 711.1 and 711.2 (2011). Hoover argues there is insufficient evidence concerning the element of intent to support the conviction. Finding sufficient evidence to support the jury's verdict, we affirm.

I. Background Facts and Proceedings

Nihjl Hoover appeals his conviction for robbery in the first degree.[1] On September 9, 2011, Davenport Police Officer Jason Ellerbach (Ellerbach) was working in plain clothes as part of the department's Tactical Operations Bureau (TOB). Ellerbach was driving his unmarked car on Bridge Avenue at approximately 3:00 a.m. when he observed an individual crouched in the middle of the street.

Stopping his car to assess the situation, Ellerbach observed a male in a white tank top and khaki shorts stepping into the street from behind a parked SUV. This individual would later be identified as Hoover. Hoover proceeded to walk towards Ellerbach paying no attention to the individual still crouched in the street. Ellerbach testified Hoover was walking towards him in an aggressive manner, and Ellerbach proceeded to back his car away. After looking behind him to ensure the street was clear, Ellerbach turned back towards Hoover and saw Hoover had a silver pistol in his hand pointed towards the unmarked police car. Ellerbach continued to back the car up until he was able to round a corner.

Ellerbach radioed the other members of the TOB unit and dispatch to inform them of the events. After losing sight of the men for a brief period of time, Ellerbach observed both men walking together down the street. Soon thereafter, TOB Officer Bryan Butt encountered Hoover who pulled the gun on Officer Butt. After a brief altercation, Hoover turned and ran with Officer Butt in pursuit. Hoover was subsequently apprehended by TOB officers. Hoover was unarmed when arrested, though a gun matching the description offered by Officers Ellerbach and Butt was located nearby. The other individual involved in the incident was later arrested. Both men were convicted of robbery in the first degree.[2]

II. Standard of Review

In criminal cases, we review challenges to the sufficiency of the evidence for errors at law. State v. Stanford, 814 N.W.2d 611, 615 (Iowa 2012). We review the entire record in the light most favorable to the ...


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