from the Iowa District Court for Polk County, David L.
Christensen (motion to suppress) and Richard G. Blane II
appeals his convictions for first-degree murder and
first-degree burglary. AFFIRMED.
Keith Rigg, Des Moines, for appellant.
J. Miller, Attorney General, and Darrell Mullins, Assistant
Attorney General, for appellee.
by Potterfield, P.J., and Doyle and Bower, JJ. Blane, S.J.,
takes no part.
Moffitt appeals his convictions for first-degree murder and
first-degree burglary. We find the district court properly
denied Moffitt's motion to suppress, based on his claim
the applications for search warrants for his home, including
computers and cell phone, were not supported by probable
cause. We affirm Moffitt's convictions.
Background Facts & Proceedings
was charged with murder in the first degree, in violation of
Iowa Code section 707.2 (2013) and burglary in the first
degree, in violation of section 713.3. The State alleged
Moffitt broke into the home of Justin Michael on May 8, 2014,
and fatally shot him.
State applied for a warrant to search Moffitt's home. The
following information was included in an affidavit attached
to the search warrant application. Michael was fatally shot
in the head at his home in Grimes shortly before 3:30 a.m. on
May 8, 2014. Michael's mother, Marie Michael, who had
been visiting, stated a subject wearing all dark clothing
came into her room and shone a "red laser" type
light on her. The subject left her room and seconds later she
heard gunshots. Officers found .9mm TulAmmo shell casings at
VerHuel, who was the victim's fiancé, stated she
previously had a sexual relationship with Moffitt from March
to June 2013. She ended the relationship with Moffitt when
she began her relationship with Michael. VerHuel stated
"Moffitt was very angry and upset and sent her a few
vulgar texts but nothing threatening. One of those texts
indicated he was not ready to let her go." In August
2013, VerHuel learned Moffitt was working in the same
department at Wells Fargo as Michael. She later learned
Moffitt was let go from his employment.
about 4:00 a.m., an off-duty Boone police officer observed a
car in the ditch by Highway 141 near Granger and stopped to
render assistance. A person, who identified himself as Dave,
stated he needed a ride. Dave was not wearing a shirt when
the officer stopped; Dave first put on a black shirt, then
took it off and put on a white shirt. Dave placed the black
shirt in a black case and put the case in the trunk of his
vehicle. The officer called dispatch, then left. A Polk
County deputy arrived shortly thereafter. The deputy
determined Dave was David Moffitt, the vehicle was registered
to him, and he resided in Pleasant Hill. At that time,
Moffitt was wearing all white clothes and particles from
weeds were clinging to his clothing. Moffitt stated he left
his cell phone at home. The deputy issued several citations
and assisted Moffitt to call a cab to take him home. Moffitt
took a cab to Pleasant Hill.
searched the area near where Moffitt's car was located.
They found a box containing new earmuffs of a type used by
those shooting firearms; an Amazon Kindle, which had
"Grimes" typed in the search bar; a receipt dated
March 14, 2014, in the name of Wegener; and two magazines
containing .9 mm TulAmmo ammunition. A search of
Moffitt's vehicle did not reveal the black shirt or the
black case he put the shirt into.
granted the search warrant application. The State executed
the search warrant for Moffitt's home and several items
were seized. A second search warrant was obtained for a
different location. The State sought a third search warrant,
stating it had not seized the computers or cell phones at
Moffitt's residence. This application was approved as
well. During the execution of the third search warrant,
officers observed a red storage tub without a lid, which they
believed contained items related to the crime. A fourth
search warrant application sought to search Moffitt's
home for these items, which included a ...