December 21, 2016
STATE OF IOWA, Plaintiff-Appellee,
GREGORY DANIEL HUDSON, Defendant-Appellant.
from the Iowa District Court for Polk County, Richard G.
Blane II, Judge.
defendant appeals his conviction. AFFIRMED.
C. Smith, State Appellate Defender, and Vidhya K. Reddy,
Assistant Appellate Defender, for appellant.
J. Miller, Attorney General, and Tyler J. Buller, Assistant
Attorney General, for appellee.
C. Solheim, Hancock County Attorney, for amicus curiae Iowa
County Attorneys Association.
by Vogel, P.J., and Tabor and Mullins, JJ.; Blane, S.J. takes
Hudson appeals his convictions for one count of willful
injury causing serious injury, in violation of Iowa Code
section 708.4(1) (2015); 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.
Background Facts and Proceedings
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
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.
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.
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.
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 serious injury, three counts of simple assault, and
one count of interference with official acts. Hudson appeals.
Standard of Review
of evidence claims are reviewed for a correction of errors at
law." State v. Sanford, 814 N.W.2d 611, 615
(Iowa 2012). We also review issues regarding jury
instructions for corrections of errors at law. State v.
Anderson, 636 N.W.2d 26, 30 (Iowa 2001).
Sufficiency of the Evidence
claims there was insufficient evidence to show he intended to
cause serious injury under Iowa Code section 708.4(1), as
opposed to causing bodily injury under section 708.4(2).
Hudson asserts that he struck the deputy with the intent of
protecting himself from being tased again, rather than with
the intent of causing serious injury. The State counters that
was the natural and probable consequence of the blows Hudson
reviewing challenges to the sufficiency of evidence
supporting a guilty verdict, courts consider all of the
record evidence viewed 'in the light most favorable to
the State, including all reasonable inferences that may be
fairly drawn from the evidence.'" Sanford,
814 N.W.2d at 615 (quoting State v. Keopasaeuth, 645
N.W.2d 637, 639-40 (Iowa 2002)). There is sufficient evidence
to support the jury's verdict if there was substantial
evidence in the record. Id. "Evidence is
considered substantial if, when viewed in the light most
favorable to the State, it can convince a rational jury that
the defendant is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt."
Code section 708.4 provides "[a]ny person who does an
act which is not justified and which is intended to cause
serious injury to another commits willful
injury." In determining whether a person intended
to cause serious injury, a jury is free to consider the
attendant facts and circumstances and infer that a person
intended the natural results of their actions. State v.
Taylor, 689 N.W.2d 116, 132 (Iowa 2004) ("[A]n
actor will ordinarily be viewed as intending the natural and
probable consequences that usually follow from his or her
voluntary act. In addition, as we indicated above, intent may
be inferred from the circumstances surrounding the alleged
assault."). Further, the extent of the victim's
injuries may also be used to infer intent. State v.
Bell, 223 N.W.2d 181, 184 (Iowa 1974).
trial, the jury heard testimony from multiple witnesses and
viewed the video that depicted Hudson striking the deputy in
the head with two blows, the second of which knocked the
deputy to the ground. Additionally, Hudson did not dispute
that he inflicted these blows, only that he did not intend to
cause serious injury in so doing. Our review of the testimony
and the video indicates that there were two direct blows to
the deputy's head, which clearly could have and did
result in serious injury. The jury could have reasonably
concluded that serious injury was the natural result of
Hudson's actions and that he intended that result.
See Taylor, 689 N.W.2d at 132. Additionally, the
jury heard testimony pertaining to the extent of the
deputy's injuries, which included a broken jaw, being
knocked unconscious, internal bruising to the kidney and
spleen, and internal bleeding. Based on the extent of these
injuries, the jury could have inferred that Hudson intended
to inflict serious injury. See Bell, 223 N.W.2d at
184. There was substantial evidence in the record
demonstrating both the nature of Hudson's actions and the
resulting extent of the deputy's injuries, which would
have allowed the jury to reasonably conclude Hudson intended
to inflict serious injury; therefore, we conclude there was
sufficient evidence in the record to support Hudson's
conviction for willful injury.
claims the district court erred in refusing to give his
requested justification instruction based on self-defense.
Hudson argues he was entitled to the justification
instruction because he claims the deputy used excessive
force.The State responds the deputy's use of
force was lawful and Hudson was not entitled to a
we will address the nature of the encounter between the
deputy and Hudson. Iowa Code section 804.5 defines an arrest
as "the taking of a person into custody when and in the
manner authorized by law, including restraint of the person
or the person's submission to custody." The deputy
did not tell Hudson he was under arrest, and at trial, he
testified that he did not consider Hudson to be under arrest.
However, at the volatile, late-night scene, the deputy made
multiple attempts to gain Hudson's attention and calm him
down, including showing his presence, giving a verbal
command, and displaying his taser. These actions demonstrate
an attempt to simply gain control of a potentially dangerous
situation, rather than an attempt to arrest Hudson.
certain circumstances, police may detain persons in the
absence of probable cause if the police have reasonable
suspicion to believe criminal activity is taking place."
State v. Pals, 805 N.W.2d 767, 774 (Iowa 2011). Law
enforcement "may seize a person on less than probable
cause when they suspect the person is about to commit a
crime." Id. Such a seizure qualifies as
"an investigatory stop" and is done "to allow
a police officer to confirm or dispel suspicions of criminal
activity through reasonable questioning." State v.
Kreps, 650 N.W.2d 636, 641 (Iowa 2002). An investigatory
stop is justified when the officer describes "specific
and articulable facts, which taken together with rational
inferences from those facts, " warrant the intrusion.
Id. (quoting State v. Heminover,
619 N.W.2d 353, 357 (Iowa 2000), abrogated on other
grounds by State v. Turner, 630 N.W.2d 601, 606
n.2 (Iowa 2001)).
trial, the deputy described the observations that caused him
to suspect Hudson was about to commit a crime:
[Hudson] was making furtive movements toward [a security
guard] with clutched fists, speaking in a very elevated
voice, yelling at him. Prior to that, he was pounding on the
hood of his car, flailing his arms, and at that-when I
observed that, that's when I ran over there and got
in-between both subjects.
deputy's observations were supported by the security
video. He also testified that his goal in approaching the
dispute between Hudson and the security guards in the parking
lot was to diffuse the situation:
Well, my main goal there is to prevent any type of injuries
to anybody on the property, and with [Hudson's] demeanor
and his, I'm going to say, intoxicated state, I was just
trying to calm the whole situation down and be a third party
and get in there and calm it down.
the deputy's observations in conjunction with the level
of intrusion he sought, we find the deputy's detention of
Hudson was justified. The deputy observed Hudson acting
erratically and threatening others, and the deputy was
exercising a legitimate law enforcement function in
attempting to diffuse the volatile scene with a brief
intrusion to assess the situation. Accordingly, the deputy
was attempting to lawfully detain Hudson for the purposes of
a brief investigatory stop.
State v. Thomas, our supreme court held that people
were not allowed to use force to resist arrests, even if the
arrest was unlawful. 262 N.W.2d 607, 610-611 (Iowa 1978). The
Iowa Legislature codified this rule with Iowa Code section
A person is not authorized to use force to resist an arrest,
either of the person's self, or another which the person
knows is being made either by a peace officer or by a private
person summoned and directed by a peace officer to make the
arrest, even if the person believes that the arrest is
unlawful or the arrest is in fact unlawful.
State v. Bedard, our supreme court left open the
question whether the same rule applied to investigatory
stops, that is, whether a person could use force to resist an
unlawful detention. 668 N.W.2d 598, 600 (Iowa 2003). Each
party requests we resolve this question now. We decline the
invitation because we find this case may be resolved under
established precedent regarding lawful detentions.
right to make an investigatory stop 'necessarily carries
with it the right to use some degree of physical coercion or
threat thereof to effect it.'" State v.
Dewitt, 811 N.W.2d 460, 468 (Iowa 2012) (quoting
Graham v. Connor, 490 U.S. 386, 396 (1989)). Law
enforcement may use reasonable physical force to effectuate
an investigatory stop. Id. In determining whether
the use of force is reasonable, we balance the nature of the
intrusion with the countervailing government interests, are
mindful of the inherent danger surrounding investigatory
stops, and require the force used to detain to be limited to
what is necessary to ensure the goals of the stop.
Id. at 468-69. Ultimately, proportionality is the
touchstone factor in evaluating the reasonableness of force.
Id. at 469-70.
review of the record indicates that the deputy's ultimate
use of force was not excessive. Initially, the deputy sought
a minimal intrusion to diffuse a situation, which he
reasonably believed could escalate to a physical
confrontation with the security guards. In response to
Hudson's escalated behavior, the deputy carefully
increased the nature of his intrusion-from mere presence, to
a verbal command, to a push, to the pointing of the taser,
and ultimately, to the use of the taser. This cautious
escalation indicates the deputy increased the nature of the
intrusion proportionally to Hudson's conduct and
attempted to use only what force was necessary to accomplish
the goal of diffusing the situation. The testimony and the
security video indicate that Hudson refused to submit to the
deputy's lawful attempt to detain him and the deputy was
forced to use the taser. Having determined the deputy acted
lawfully in attempting to detain Hudson, we conclude the
deputy's use of force did not exceed the level necessary
to accomplish the detention.
the deputy's detention of Hudson was lawful and the
gradual increase in his use of force was not excessive, we
conclude Hudson was not entitled to resist the detention by
twice striking the deputy in the head. Therefore, on these
facts, the district court correctly determined Hudson was not
entitled to a justification instruction.
we conclude there was sufficient evidence to support
Hudson's conviction as to willful injury causing serious
injury and because Hudson was not entitled to a justification
instruction, we affirm Hudson's convictions.
 Based on a numbering change between
the 2013 and 2015 Iowa Code, it appears the district court
incorrectly used the 2015 Iowa Code rather than the 2013 Iowa
Code. The change only affected numbering and had no
The act qualifies as a "C"
felony if the person causes serious injury. Iowa Code §
 This is a slightly different argument
than Hudson raised below, where he claimed he was entitled to
the instruction because he was not under arrest and the
deputy was acting unlawfully.
 The State also challenged the
timeliness of Hudson's request, which came after the
State had presented its case in chief and rested and Hudson
had been examined and cross-examined. The district court
expressed concern about the timeliness but ultimately
entertained the instruction request. Because we conclude the
court properly refused to instruct the jury on self-defense,
we decline to address the issue of timeliness.
 Additionally, an amicus brief was
filed by the Iowa County Attorney's Association
requesting we address this issue.