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State v. Hudson

Court of Appeals of Iowa

December 21, 2016

STATE OF IOWA, Plaintiff-Appellee,
GREGORY DANIEL HUDSON, Defendant-Appellant.

         Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Polk County, Richard G. Blane II, Judge.

         A defendant appeals his conviction. AFFIRMED.

          Mark C. Smith, State Appellate Defender, and Vidhya K. Reddy, Assistant Appellate Defender, for appellant.

          Thomas J. Miller, Attorney General, and Tyler J. Buller, Assistant Attorney General, for appellee.

          David C. Solheim, Hancock County Attorney, for amicus curiae Iowa County Attorneys Association.

          Heard by Vogel, P.J., and Tabor and Mullins, JJ.; Blane, S.J. takes no part.

          VOGEL, Presiding Judge.

         Gregory Hudson appeals his convictions for one count of willful injury causing serious injury, in violation of Iowa Code section 708.4(1) (2015)[1]; three counts of assault, in violation of Iowa Code sections 708.1 and 708.2(6); and interference with official acts, in violation of Iowa Code section 719.1(1)(b). Hudson asserts there was insufficient evidence of his intent as to count I-willful injury causing serious injury-and the district court erred in failing to instruct the jury on self-defense. We conclude there was sufficient evidence for the jury to convict Hudson and he was not entitled to a self-defense instruction. Therefore, we affirm.

         I. Background Facts and Proceedings

         On the night of April 30, 2014, Hudson and his fiancé were at Prairie Meadows Racetrack and Casino. At some point, the two engaged in a heated discussion that drew the attention of Prairie Meadows security guards. On that night, a Polk County Sheriff's Deputy was working off-duty security at Prairie Meadows. The deputy noticed the discussion and walked over to see what was going on. After a brief discussion, the situation was resolved. The deputy told Hudson that he could finish the two alcoholic beverages he had but, after those, he was cut off from purchasing further alcoholic beverages. According to the deputy, Hudson was receptive to his intervention and did not indicate any animosity toward the deputy.

         A short time later, Hudson and his fiancé left the casino. The deputy and Prairie Meadows security were still monitoring the couple and noticed Hudson had taken the car keys from his fiancé as the couple traversed the parking lot. Concerned Hudson may have been driving out of the lot while impaired by alcohol, security stopped Hudson's car. However, Hudson's fiancé was behind the steering wheel. Hudson became upset, exited the vehicle, and began yelling and pounding on the hood of the car. Hudson then began walking away while still yelling, and several security guards followed him.

         As this was occurring, the deputy left the casino and headed to the scene. When the deputy arrived, he observed Hudson making furtive movements with clutched fists, yelling, swearing, and flailing his arms. The deputy positioned himself between Hudson and the security guards and told Hudson to back away, turn around, and lean against a car that was behind him; Hudson refused. With Hudson assuming an aggressive position, the deputy pushed Hudson back. Then the deputy pointed his taser at Hudson and again told him to back away. Hudson refused, pulled up his shirt and said, "If you're going tase me, you might as well do it." According to the deputy, Hudson added, "F**k you. I've been tasered before." The deputy tased Hudson with 50, 000 volts. Unfazed by the jolt, Hudson moved forward and struck the deputy in the head. The deputy moved to tase Hudson again, and Hudson punched him again in the head. The deputy fell to the ground. As a result of the punches, the deputy was knocked out and suffered a broken jaw, internal bleeding, and bruising of his kidneys and spleen.

         Hudson then began running across the parking lot, while being pursued from a distance by security guards. Hudson reached the street outside Prairie Meadows, where he was met by several law enforcement officers. Hudson then went to the ground on his own. When the officers tried to place handcuffs on Hudson, he squirmed and hid his hands. Several officers attempted to restrain Hudson, but he continued to fight back, including kicking three officers-one in the head-and hyperextending the thumb of a security guard and the hand of an officer. Eventually, the officers tased Hudson again and were able to restrain him and place him under arrest.

         On July 21, 2014, the State charged Hudson with seven counts stemming from the incident. During the trial, Hudson requested a justification defense based on self-defense; the district court found a justification instruction was not warranted and refused to give the requested instruction. On May 22, 2015, the jury convicted Hudson of one count of willful injury causing ...

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