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State v. Oxford

Court of Appeal of Iowa

November 6, 2013

STATE OF IOWA, Respondent-Appellee,
v.
SONNY W. OXFORD, Applicant-Appellant.

Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Polk County, Odell G. McGhee II, District Associate Judge.

Sonny Oxford appeals from his conviction of operating while intoxicated (second offense).

Julia A. Ofenbakh of Ofenbakh Law Firm, P.L.L.C., Urbandale, for appellant.

Thomas J. Miller, Attorney General, Thomas S. Tauber, Assistant Attorney General, John Sarcone, County Attorney, and James Hathaway, Assistant County Attorney, for appellee State.

Considered by Potterfield, P.J., and Mullins and Bower, JJ.

POTTERFIELD, P.J.

Sonny Oxford appeals from his conviction of operating while intoxicated (second offense). He contends he was denied due process by his inability to review the audio recordings of the anonymous calls to police that led to the stop of his vehicle.

I. We review constitutional issues de novo. State v. Kooima, 833 N.W.2d 202, 205 (Iowa 2013).

II. The following police reports were attached to the trial information and minutes of testimony. Des Moines Police Officer Abbey Vannausdle reported that on July 20, 2012,

A broadcast was put out for an OWI on a brown truck with a ladder rack on it at E29th/Walnut. The caller stated that the vehicle went through a stop sign, parked illegally, and was then drinking at the corner. A short time later another call came in for an OWI at 2833 E Walnut, this one stating that a WM wearing a red shirt and denim shorts associated with the brown truck had walked into this address. The caller stated that the male could barely walk. The male returned to the truck and left northbound on E 29th with a red car following it. I observed listed truck eastbound on E University from E 29th and it then turned north into the Walgreen's parking lot. The vehicle was being driven by a WM in a red shirt as the caller had described. I got behind the vehicle and stopped it in the 2900 Blk of State. A red car stopped behind me and the woman driver stated she was Oxford's girlfriend and had been following him to make sure he made it home.
Officer Ben Ihde's reported:
Dispatch received a report of a white male in a red shirt and blue jean shorts that may have been intoxicated; he was associated with a brown Ford truck. The caller (unknown) reported that the subject could barely walk and that he blew a stop sign. The caller was following the vehicle until Officer Abbey Vannausdle (5037) located the vehicle at about the Walgreen's on East University. Vannausdle stopped the vehicle and made contact with Oxford. Oxford appeared to be intoxicated and admitted to drinking and currently being drunk. Vannausdle requested the assistance of a traffic officer.
When I arrived, Oxford was in the back of Vannausdle's vehicle. He was not in handcuffs and he was not under arrest. I noted that there was an odor of alcohol. Oxford had only one good eye; it was watery and bloodshot. He swayed when he stood and staggered when he walked. Oxford admitted to drinking. He stated that he had been at Kelly's Little Nipper; he could not estimate as to when he got there. He stated that he had about six beers and then about twelve "Screwdriver" drinks. Oxford admitted to being drunk and that he should not have been driving. He stated that we were to disregard the field sobriety tests; just take the PBT and go to jail.

Oxford was arrested on July 20, 2012, and on July 21, he was charged by complaint with operating while under the influence. His initial appearance was on July 31. On August 19, pursuant to the Des Moines Police Department data ...


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