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State v. Pranschke

Court of Appeals of Iowa

June 7, 2017

STATE OF IOWA, Plaintiff-Appellee,
PATRICIA PRANSCHKE, Defendant-Appellant.

         Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Monona County, Patrick H. Tott, Judge.

         Patricia Pranschke appeals her convictions of first-degree harassment and assault on a police officer, arguing her trial counsel was ineffective and challenging the sufficiency of the evidence to support her first-degree harassment conviction. AFFIRMED.

          Priscilla E. Forsyth, Sioux City, for appellant.

          Thomas J. Miller, Attorney General, and Sharon K. Hall, Assistant Attorney General, for appellee.

          Heard by Vogel, P.J., and Doyle and McDonald, JJ.

          DOYLE, Judge.

         Patricia Pranschke appeals her convictions of first-degree harassment and assault on a police officer after she tussled with a law-enforcement officer who entered her home without knocking, without her consent, and without a search warrant. She argues her trial counsel was ineffective in several respects, including failing to appeal her conviction of interference with official acts. She also challenges the sufficiency of the evidence to support her first-degree-harassment conviction. Upon our review, we affirm her convictions.

         I. Background Facts and Proceedings.

         Viewing the trial evidence in the light most favorable to the jury's guilty verdicts, State v. Romer, 832 N.W.2d 169, 172-73 (Iowa 2013), the jury could have found the following facts. Terri Andersen is Patricia Pranschke's adult daughter. In April 2015, a warrant was issued for Andersen's arrest. The warrant related to a traffic violation issued to Andersen for driving on a suspended license.

         On October 25, 2015, Monona County Deputy Sheriff Robert Maule was on duty and in full uniform. Driving in a marked Monona County Sheriff's Office Tahoe, the deputy was out searching for individuals that had outstanding arrest warrants, including Andersen. Deputy Maule had a copy of Andersen's photo from a previous booking so he could identify her. The deputy was informed by dispatch that Andersen "would be living or with her mom in Castana, and that that would be the first place they would go look" for Andersen.[1] The deputy was given Pranschke's address and drove to her home.

         As he was pulling into Pranschke's driveway, Deputy Maule observed Andersen standing in the driveway. When Andersen saw the deputy, "she immediately started running toward the house." The deputy parked, got out of his vehicle, and yelled for Andersen to stop. Andersen did not; instead, she went inside Pranschke's house, closing the door behind her. Deputy Maule ran after Andersen and entered the house without knocking or announcing himself.

         Andersen ran into a bedroom, and the deputy attempted to follow Andersen but was stopped by Pranschke. Pranschke "immediately" told the deputy to "get the f**k out of [her] house." The deputy "tried to explain to her that [he] saw [Andersen] run inside and she had an active warrant." Pranschke was standing in the middle of the hallway, and when Deputy Maule "tried to go by, she stopped [him] and then did a quick shove to [him]." The deputy told Pranschke that "if she placed her hands on [him] again she would be going to jail." The deputy tried to move around Pranschke, but Pranschke hit his arm down. Deputy Maule asked Pranschke to step aside, but she did not.

         Pranschke then called 9-1-1, seeking assistance with her demand that the deputy leave her home. While on the phone, Deputy Maule informed Pranschke he had a warrant to arrest Andersen, who had just run into Pranschke's house. The 9-1-1 operator also told Pranschke that Deputy Maule had an arrest warrant for Andersen and that he would leave as soon as she produced Andersen. The operator told Pranschke another officer was coming to her home. The operator hung up on Pranschke following Pranschke's use of vulgar language.

         Thereafter, the deputy continued his attempts "to explain the situation" to Pranschke "and why [he] was there. . . . That [Andersen] had a warrant." Pranschke told Deputy Maule, "Fine, I'm going to get my gun and shoot you." The deputy took this as a threat. Pranschke then "turned to the right and started walking toward the bedroom, " and the deputy thought Pranschke was actually "going to get a gun and shoot [him]." To stop Pranschke, Deputy Maule "grabbed [Pranschke] by the . . . arms when she was walking away from [him], just right above the elbows." He told Pranschke "she was going to be under arrest" and to "[p]ut her hands behind her back." Pranschke "started flailing, throwing elbows . . . back toward [him], " hitting him in the chest. Deputy Maule pinned Pranschke up against her washing machine, asked her to stop resisting, and handcuffed her. At that point, Andersen "came [walking] out of the bedroom, " and the deputy grabbed Andersen by the arm. Deputy Maule let go of Pranschke to put handcuffs on Andersen while Pranschke yelled at him. The deputy took both women outside. Pranschke asked Deputy Maule why she was going to jail, and he told her "it was reference to you can't threaten to shoot me, " and Pranschke responded that she "was joking about that." It was no joke to the deputy.

         Iowa State Patrol Sergeant Michael Kober was dispatched to Pranschke's residence to assist Deputy Maule. When Sergeant Kober arrived, he saw the deputy on Pranschke's patio with Pranschke and Andersen. Pranschke was "very irate" and "very argumentative" towards Deputy Maule. Sergeant Kober escorted Pranschke to his patrol car and listened to Pranschke "scream that she wanted charges filed on Deputy Maule for assault and that she wanted him removed from the residence."

         The sergeant read Pranschke her Miranda rights and transported Pranschke to the county jail. On the way, Pranschke asked "what she was being arrested for, " and Sergeant Kober told her he "wasn't sure, that Deputy Maule was taking care of those charges." The sergeant told Pranschke "Deputy Maule had said she said that she should get a gun and shoot him. She said she did not say that." Pranschke told Sergeant Kober that she told the deputy she "could shoot [the deputy] if [she] wanted to. [She has] a gun. [She has] a weapons permit. She didn't say she should shoot him. She said she could shoot him." Pranschke "then . . . made another statement that she had a weapons permit and legally owned a gun."

         The same day, Deputy Maule filed three criminal complaints against Pranschke, alleging she committed: (1) first-degree harassment, an aggravated misdemeanor, in violation of Iowa Code section 708.7(2) (2015); (2) assault on persons engaged in certain occupations, a serious misdemeanor, in violation of section 708.3A(4); and (3) interference with official acts, a simple misdemeanor, in violation of section 719.1(1)(b). Because the latter alleged offense was a simple misdemeanor and not an indictable offense, it was assigned a separate case number, SMSM108130; the other two offenses were assigned as counts one and two of AGCR016141. See Iowa Code § 801.4(8) ("'Indictable offense' means an offense other than a simple misdemeanor."); Iowa R. Crim. P. 2.6(1) ("Two or more indictable public offenses which arise from the same transaction or occurrence . . . shall be alleged and prosecuted as separate counts in a single complaint, information or indictment . . . ."). The parties agreed SMSM108130 would be tried to the court contemporaneously with the jury trial in AGCR016141.

         Deputy Maule and Sergeant Kober testified at Pranschke's July 2016 trial as set forth above. Pranschke also testified, giving a different account of events. Pranschke testified she had been babysitting her six-month-old great-grandson and had just laid him down to sleep in her bedroom when she came out of her room, "passed that opening that comes from the door and [Deputy] Maule swung the door open and came in and [she] stood there and [she] went whoa. And he stopped." She testified that she did not even know Andersen was in her house but admitted he told her that Andersen had just run into her house. Contrary to Deputy Maule's testimony, Pranschke testified that she asked him to show her a warrant, and "he continually shook his head at [her]." She denied pushing him or threatening him with a gun, though she admitted she may have said, while talking to herself aloud, that she had a gun permit. She testified the deputy immediately asked her, "[D]id you say you were going to get ...

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