Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Scott County, Bobbi M. Alpers, Judge.
Defendant appeals his conviction and sentence following a jury's verdict finding him guilty of burglary in the third degree.
Mark C. Smith, State Appellate Defender, and Bradley M. Bender, Assistant Appellate Defender, and Brenda Drew-Peeples, Davenport, for appellant.
Thomas J. Miller, Attorney General, Tyler J. Buller, Assistant Attorney General, Michael J. Walton, County Attorney, and Kimberly Shepherd, Assistant County Attorney, for appellee.
Considered by Vaitheswaran, P.J., and Potterfield and Danilson, JJ.
John Louis Hodges appeals his conviction and sentence following a jury's verdict finding him guilty of burglary in the third degree, in violation of Iowa Code sections 713.1 and 713.6A(1) (2011). On appeal, he maintains that he received ineffective assistance of counsel at trial. Hodges alleges there was insufficient evidence to support the conviction and counsel was ineffective in failing to properly preserve the issue at trial. He asks that we reverse his convictions and remand to the district court. Because Hodges was not prejudiced by any alleged errors of counsel, we affirm.
I. Background Facts and Proceedings.
On April 7, 2012, Scott County Deputy Dwight West was dispatched to a residence in Lake Canyada Mobile Home Park in Davenport, Iowa. Once he arrived, he met with the residents, Marcus and Caroline Taylor, who reported someone had stolen their television, gaming system, and several items relating to their computer, among other things, while they had been away from home. Deputy West interviewed the Taylors' neighbor, Shawna Howe, who had noticed a silver Pontiac parked outside the Taylors' residence earlier in the day when their car was not home. Deputy West checked the home and did not find any signs of forced entry.
While the deputy was conducting his investigation at the residence, Marcus Taylor received a telephone call from Hodges. Taylor indicated to Deputy West that he suspected Hodges might have taken the possessions. He then put the phone on speaker so the deputy could listen. Taylor asked Hodges if he had his stuff. Deputy West heard Hodges tell Taylor he had it and then ask Taylor if he had the money.
The parties dispute the money in question: Marcus Taylor testified that he, Hodges, and a third person, Greg Bunyard had been fishing the previous day. He stated Bunyard had asked Hodges to lend him $500 and Hodges agreed only after Taylor vouched for Bunyard. Bunyard was supposed to pay back the loan the next day, but he did not do so. When Hodges could not get in contact with Bunyard, he enlisted Taylor's help. Taylor traveled with Hodges to Bunyard's home, but Bunyard did not answer the door. Taylor testified he then went to a nearby park with his family while Hodges left in his vehicle, a silver Pontiac. When Taylor returned home with his family, they found the listed possessions were missing. In contrast, Hodges testified he lent Bunyard and Taylor each $250. He claimed Taylor had given him the items in question as collateral when he was unable to pay back the loan as promised on April 7, before taking him to Bunyard's to collect the other $250 owed to him.
During the phone call, Marcus Taylor handed the phone to Deputy West, who, pretending to be Bunyard, agreed to meet Hodges at the local Hy-Vee to exchange the borrowed $500 for the missing possessions. After Deputy West and the Taylors arrived at Hy-Vee, Caroline Taylor noticed Hodges and indicated who he was to West. Deputy West approached Hodges and attempted to arrest him, but he broke free of West's grasp and fled the parking lot on foot. Hodges was apprehended nearby the same day. Meanwhile, the Taylors located Hodges' silver Pontiac in a nearby carwash. Deputy West testified it was clear the car had not actually been washed and the missing possessions could be seen in the backseat of the vehicle. The police seized the car, obtained a warrant, and impounded it as evidence.
On May 10, 2012, Hodges was charged by trial information with burglary in the third degree, pursuant to Iowa Code sections 713.1 and 713.6A(1). Following a jury trial, Hodges was convicted and sentenced to serve an ...