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State v. Turner

Court of Appeals of Iowa

April 5, 2017

STATE OF IOWA, Plaintiff-Appellee,
v.
JAZMOND DEANTRA TURNER, Defendant-Appellant.

         Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Scott County, Thomas G. Reidel, Judge.

         A defendant appeals his conviction for conspiracy to commit the forcible felony of robbery. AFFIRMED.

          Mark C. Smith, State Appellate Defender, and Brenda J. Gohr, Assistant Appellate Defender, for appellant.

          Thomas J. Miller, Attorney General, and Louis S. Sloven, Assistant Attorney General, for appellee.

          Considered by Potterfield, P.J., and Doyle and Tabor, JJ.

          TABOR JUDGE.

         "By any means necessary." That's how Kendale Turner, Jazmond Turner and Keenan Lewis agreed to steal marijuana from Ramon March, according to Kendale's testimony for the prosecution at Jazmond's bench trial.[1] The district court found Jazmond guilty of conspiracy to commit the forcible felony of robbery. On appeal, Jazmond contends the State did not present sufficient evidence to corroborate Kendale's accomplice testimony about the agreement and did not show the agreement was to commit a robbery rather than a theft. Jazmond also argues he cannot be guilty of conspiring to rob Ramon because Ramon could not legally own the marijuana. Because the record contains substantial evidence to prove Jazmond's guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, we affirm.

         I. Facts and Prior Proceedings

         Jazmond and Keenan are brothers; Kendale is their cousin. One evening in late August 2015, they were "hanging out" on Pershing Avenue in Davenport. They saw Ramon, who they knew sold marijuana, take something out of his trunk and enter the house where he lived with his father, Raymond March. Kendale recalled discussing with his two companions a plan to take marijuana from Ramon without paying for it. To be sure nothing went wrong and they left the house with the marijuana, they decided Jazmond and Keenan would enter the house to outnumber Ramon while Kendale waited in his silver Chevy Impala to aid the getaway. After leaving his two companions at the March house, Kendale parked near the Sav-A-Lot grocery store a few blocks away.

          Raymond was across the street talking with a neighbor as he saw his son go into the house with two young men who pulled up in a Chevy. When the two men came back out, one was carrying several shoe boxes. A few moments later, Ramon emerged from the house and ran toward his father looking scared and saying he had been robbed at gunpoint. As a first instinct, Raymond yelled "drop my son's shit" and started to chase the young men, but he soon gave up. He testified: "I'm sixty years old. I knew I couldn't catch them." Raymond saw the pair run up an alley and get into a silver Impala.

         According to Kendale, after he picked up Jazmond and Keenan, they drove to another friend's house with the marijuana stolen from Ramon. A few hours later, they returned to the alley to retrieve three or four pairs of "Jordans" kept in the shoeboxes that Keenan had stashed in a dumpster.

         Meanwhile, the Marches called the police to report a robbery. Davenport police officers interviewed both Ramon and Raymond at their home. During the follow-up investigation, the Marches both identified Jazmond and his accomplices from photographic lineups.

         In January 2016, the State filed a joint trial information, charging Keenan, Jazmond, and Kendale with robbery in the first degree and conspiracy to commit a forcible felony. The State also charged Jazmond with possession of a firearm as a felon. Jazmond waived his right to a jury trial and was tried jointly with Keenan. In exchange for a plea deal, Kendale agreed to testify for the State at the April 18 bench trial. After hearing testimony from Kendale, Raymond, and several police officers, the district court acquitted Jazmond on the robbery and felon-in-possession counts, but it found him guilty of conspiring to commit the forcible felony of robbery in violation of Iowa Code section 706.3(1) (2015). Jazmond appeals that conspiracy conviction.

         II. Scope and ...


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