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State v. Henderson

Court of Appeals of Iowa

September 13, 2017

STATE OF IOWA, Plaintiff-Appellee,
v.
K'VON JAMES HENDERSON, Defendant-Appellant.

         Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Black Hawk County, George L. Stigler, Judge.

         K'Von James Henderson appeals from a verdict of guilty on a charge of first-degree robbery.

          John C. Audlehelm of Audlehelm Law Office, Des Moines, for appellant.

          K'von James Henderson, Fort Dodge, appellant pro se.

          Thomas J. Miller, Attorney General, and Martha E. Trout, Assistant Attorney General, for appellee.

          Vogel, P.J., Doyle, J., and Goodhue, S.J. [*]

          GOODHUE, Senior Judge.

         K'Von James Henderson appeals from a verdict of guilty on a charge of first-degree robbery. We affirm.

         I. Background Facts and Proceedings

         Shortly before closing time on February 10, 2015-pursuant to a plan developed the evening before-Riley Mallett, Cody Plummer, Myles Anderson, Dayton Nelson, and Henderson gathered together to rob the Greenwood Pharmacy in Waterloo. Anderson and Mallett were to do the actual entry, but the plan was changed when Anderson backed out and Plummer replaced him. Nelson and Henderson were to be get-away drivers. Two automobiles were employed; the items taken were to be deposited in the vehicle Nelson was driving, and Henderson was to pick up Plummer and Mallett at a designated location.

         Nelson drove Mallett, Plummer, and Anderson to the drug store. Henderson proceeded on to the pick-up point where he was to wait. Mallett and Plummer entered the drug store, and Mallett went to the back and demanded Xanax and cough syrup with promethazine and codeine. At the February 9 meeting, it had been agreed that no guns were to be involved-only a note demanding the pharmacist give them all of the Xanax, Promethazine and Codeine. It was later decided that to succeed with their plan, a gun was needed. Anderson had a gun in his possession and made it available to Mallett. Mallett brandished the gun when making the demand for drugs and threatened to "shoot this bitch up." The pharmacist, Wes Pilkington, believed the handgun looked like the gun police carry and complied with Mallett's demand. Mallett was wearing a mask, but Pilkington was able to identify him at trial. Plummer stayed at the front of the store and requested money, and the clerk gave him money out of the cash register.

         Plummer and Mallett were able to put the loot into the trunk of the vehicle Nelson was driving, but Mallett and Plummer were arrested before they made it to the getaway car being driven by Henderson. Both were apprehended in the vicinity of the drug store. Nelson, Anderson, and Henderson eventually gathered at Nelson's residence with the proceeds from the robbery. The items that had been taken were divided among the three of them. Nelson observed Henderson placing some of the drugs wrapped in tinfoil in his pocket.

         Law enforcement proceeded to the Nelson residence and were greeted by Nelson's dogs. Henderson and Nelson began to run. It was unclear whether they were trying to restrain the dogs or escape, but as Henderson ran, his cell phone dropped out of his pocket. Records from the phone reflect multiple calls among the participants, including Henderson, from their respective cell phones immediately before the robbery. Henderson was searched, and a tinfoil package containing Xanax was found. The Nelson residence was searched, and drugs were found that were identified as items taken from the Greenwood Pharmacy. Henderson initially claimed he had been at the Nelson residence the entire evening but later indicated he had been driving around for a period of time and acknowledged that he knew about the robbery before the police had arrived.

         Henderson, Anderson, Mallett, and Plummer were each charged with first-degree robbery. Nelson became a witness for the State. Henderson, Mallett and Plummer were tried together. Trial began November 15, 2015, but a mistrial was declared. The second trial began February 9, 2016, and ended February 17, 2016. Henderson was convicted of first-degree robbery. He appeals, contending there was insufficient evidence to survive a judgment for acquittal. He has also filed a pro se brief claiming ineffective assistance of counsel.

         II. Sufficiency ...


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