Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Polk County, Richard G. Blane II, Judge.
Defendant appeals his conviction for murder in the first degree.
Mark C. Smith, State Appellate Defender, and Bradley M. Bender, Assistant Appellate Defender, for appellant.
Lester Richardson, Fort Madison, appellant pro se.
Thomas J. Miller, Attorney General, Kyle P. Hanson, Assistant Attorney General, John Sarcone, County Attorney, and Daniel C. Voogt and Jeffrey K. Noble, Assistant County Attorneys, for appellee.
Considered by Vaitheswaran, P.J., Doyle, J., and Miller, S.J. [*]
I. Background Facts and Proceedings
On September 26, 2010, an incident occurred at the Hangover, also known as the Boom Boom Room, a bar in West Des Moines, where Lakita Portwood received a fairly large laceration to her forehead from a man with a beer bottle. Portwood's half-brother, Lester Richardson, stated he wanted to get back at the person who injured Portwood.
On October 14, 2010, Jamarcus Lee, Bobby Woods, and Martin Turks drove in a black Jeep Cherokee to a laundromat/liquor store on University Avenue in Des Moines. Lee was driving, Woods was in the front passenger seat, while Turks was in the backseat. Lee backed into a parking space. Turks went into the store to buy some alcohol and cigars. While Turks was in the store, Lee and Woods began talking to some women who had parked in an adjacent parking space.
Richardson came up and spoke to Woods, who he knew. When Turks returned to the car, Woods introduced him to Richardson. Turks told Richardson he liked to go to the Boom Boom Room, and he considered himself a ladies' man. Richardson then walked away and went over to a different vehicle. Turks remained standing between the two cars, talking to the women.
Casino McDonald, who was the long-time boyfriend of the mother of Portwood and Richardson, testified Richardson called him from the laundromat/liquor store and asked him to pick him up to give him a ride home. McDonald stated that when he arrived at the scene, Richardson told him that the men in the Jeep Cherokee were involved in the incident when Portwood got hit in the head with a bottle. McDonald stated he then went over to speak to the person in the driver's seat.
Lee testified that a man walked up to the driver's side window of the Jeep Cherokee, where Lee was sitting, and said, "What was that sh*t you and your cousin was talking about laughing at the club when my daughter got hit in the face with a bottle?" While Lee and Woods were talking to McDonald, a shot was fired which struck Turks in the head and killed him.
When the shot was fired, Lee and Woods drove out of the parking lot. Additional shots were fired at the back of the Jeep Cherokee. Woods was struck by a bullet which did not penetrate the skin, but caused bruising. Lee testified that if he had been sitting up straight in the vehicle, he would have been shot in the back because a bullet went through the driver's seat. A bullet penetrated the gas tank of the Jeep Cherokee, causing gas ...