Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Scott County, Marlita A. Greve, Judge.
Todd Wiese appeals from conviction of conspiracy to manufacture methamphetamine.
Jack E. Dusthimer, Davenport, for appellant.
Thomas J. Miller, Attorney General, Sharon K. Hall, Assistant Attorney General, Michael J. Walton, County Attorney, and Khara Coleman Washington, Assistant County Attorney, for appellee.
Considered by Vogel, P.J., and Danilson and Tabor, JJ.
Todd Wiese appeals from conviction of conspiracy to manufacture methamphetamine. Finding no abuse of discretion in the trial court's evidentiary ruling or in allowing a former co-defendant to testify, we affirm.
I. Background Facts and Proceedings.
At about 2:50 a.m. on April 1, 2012, an officer performed a traffic stop of a vehicle. Justin Weston was driving the car, the vehicle's owner, Emily Parker, was in the front passenger seat, Todd Wiese was sitting in the back seat behind Weston, and Bryce Pappas was sitting next to Wiese. The owner consented to a search of the vehicle, which revealed an Illinois store receipt for pseudoephedrine pills purchased a few hours earlier. Under the seat where Wiese was sitting was found a foil packet containing a substance later identified as heroin.
Weston is an admitted heroin addict. He told officers he first met Weise in late February or early March. Weston stated he had Pappas purchase the pseudoephedrine on March 31 to give to Wiese to have methamphetamine made. Weston said he had previously had others purchase pseudoephedrine, which he gave to Weise, and in return, Weston received methamphetamine.
On April 10, 2012, Wiese, Pappas, and Weston were charged with conspiracy to manufacture methamphetamine on or about March 31, 2012. Weston's trial was severed from Wiese and Pappas's trial, primarily due to his statements incriminating them. Weston thereafter pled guilty as charged. The State, however, did not amend its witness list to include Weston until just before Wiese and Pappas's trial. Wiese moved to exclude Weston's testimony on grounds the amendment was untimely. The trial court agreed the witness should have been disclosed although everyone knew the witness, Weston, "could or would" testify. The trial court offered both Wiese and Pappas a continuance of the trial. As an alternative, the court permitted either defendant to depose Weston prior to his testimony. Wiese declined a continuance, but exercised the opportunity to depose Weston prior to his testimony.
Wiese moved in limine to exclude statements he made to police in January 2012 concerning his efforts to purchase pseudoephedrine to supply to a methamphetamine manufacturer, arguing those statements were remote in time and were not part of the conspiracy charged. He also asserted any relevance was outweighed by its prejudicial effect. The motion was argued extensively. The trial court ruled the prior acts testimony was not stale or too remote in time. The court ruled further, "Wiese's statements to Detective Furlong in January of 2012 are relevant and could show motive and absence of mistake and lack of accident."
Weston testified at Pappas's and Wiese's trial that on March 31, he had plans to meet up with Wiese in order to give him pseudoephedrine pills. Weston (who was with Parker in her car) asked Pappas to buy the pills because Weston did not have identification. Pappas did purchase a box of pseudoephedrine in Moline, Illinois, and gave the box to Weston, who in turn removed the pills from their packaging and placed them in an empty cigarette box. Weston testified they then drove to Davenport, Iowa, where they tried to purchase another box of pseudoephedrine. However, Pappas was turned away because of his prior purchase. They then drove to Rhythm City Casino, where they met Wiese and A.H., leaving the ...