Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Black Hawk County, James D.
Coil, District Associate Judge.
A defendant convicted of harassment challenges his attorney's
performance at trial.
Mark C. Smith, State Appellate Defender, and Rachel C. Regenold, Assistant Appellate Defender, for appellant.
Thomas J. Miller, Attorney General, Jean Pettinger, Assistant Attorney General, Jacob Marshall, Student Legal Intern, Thomas J. Ferguson, County Attorney, and Peter Blink, Assistant County Attorney, for appellee.
Considered by Vogel, P.J., and Danilson and Tabor, JJ.
A jury convicted Calvin Hoskins of first-degree harassment for his threats against Carlos LaBeaux and LaBeaux's family members—communicated during a heated telephone conversation. On appeal, Hoskins claims his lawyer should have argued he had a legitimate purpose in communicating with LaBeaux and should have objected to the admissibility of the partial recording of their phone call. Because we find counsel's performance satisfied professional standards expected of criminal defense attorneys, we affirm.
I. Facts and proceedings
On the evening of August 31, 2011, Carlos LaBeaux missed a phone call from Amy Cooley, the mother of his three children. When LaBeaux called her back, Cooley's new boyfriend, Calvin Hoskins, joined their conversation.
LaBeaux recalled Hoskins saying he wanted to meet LaBeaux at the store "and when he seen me at the store, that's where I was going to lay." LaBeaux took those words as slang for Hoskins's intent to kill him. Hoskins then said: "Your mamma and your kids, that's who's going to bury you."
Hoskins also leveled threats toward LaBeaux's children, saying he was going to be at their bus stop and telling LaBeaux: "I'm going to make sure your kids get fucked." At that point in the conversation, Amy Cooley interjected: "Why would you say something like that to him?"
In a final provocation, Hoskins told LaBeaux he knew where LaBeaux's mother lived and by going to her house Hoskins would "bring [LaBeaux's] bitch ass to me." Because Hoskins was living less than a mile away from LaBeaux's mother, upon hearing that last threat, LaBeaux hung up and called the police— asking them to check on his mother's welfare. LaBeaux also took Hoskins's threats seriously enough to personally drive his children the school the next day.
When Hoskins started making threats, LaBeaux had activated an application (app) on the cell phone he was using that recorded incoming voices. LaBeaux also put the conversation on speaker phone, which enabled his teenage daughter to hear Hoskins's rant. The daughter recalled being scared when Hoskins, who was dating her mother, threatened to harm her and her brothers. She also heard Hoskins say "that he was going to go over to my granny's house, and he said that he was going to make my dad come to him."
When Cedar Falls police officer Katie Burkhardt responded to LaBeaux's call, he played the recording for her. She then recorded ...