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State v. Plummer

Court of Appeals of Iowa

September 13, 2017

STATE OF IOWA, Plaintiff-Appellee,
v.
CODY ALEXANDER PLUMMER, Defendant-Appellant.

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

         Cody Alexander Plummer appeals from a verdict of guilty on a charge of first-degree robbery. AFFIRMED.

          R.E. Breckenridge of Breckenridge Law P.C., Ottumwa, for appellant.

          Thomas J. Miller, Attorney General, Elisabeth Reynoldson, Special Counsel (until withdrawal), and Kevin Cmelik, Assistant Attorney General, for appellee.

          Considered by Danilson, C.J., Tabor, J., and Goodhue, S.J. [*]

          GOODHUE, Senior Judge.

         Cody Alexander Plummer appeals from a verdict of guilty on a charge of first-degree robbery. We affirm.

         I. Background Facts and Proceedings

         Shortly before the closing time on February 10, 2015-pursuant to a plan developed the evening before-Riley Mallett, Myles Anderson, K'Von Henderson, Dayton Nelson, and Plummer gathered together to rob the Greenwood Pharmacy in Waterloo. The original plan was for Anderson and Mallett to enter the premises. About ninety minutes before entry, the plan was changed when Anderson backed out and Plummer replaced him. Nelson and Henderson were to be getaway 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. Anderson possessed a gun that was delivered to Mallett or Plummer after they arrived at the drug store. Nelson testified that both Mallett and Plummer were there and, though he was not positive which one took it, he was certain one of them accepted the gun. Henderson proceeded on to the pickup point where he was to wait. Mallett and Plummer were both wearing masks when they entered the drug store, and Mallett went to the front. A note stated, "Give me all of the Xanax and all the Promethazine [and] Codein[e] before I shoot this bitch up." After moving to the back of the drugstore Mallett brandished the gun and verbally repeated the note's commands. The pharmacist, Wes Pilkington, believed the handgun looked like the gun police carry and complied with Mallett's request. Mallett was wearing a mask, but Pilkington was able to identify him at trial. Plummer stayed at the front of the store and asked for money, and the clerk complied.

         Plummer and Mallett were able to put the loot and the gun into the trunk of the vehicle Nelson was driving, but Mallett and Plummer were arrested before they made it to the getaway vehicle 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, which were divided among the three of them.

         Law enforcement proceeded to the Nelson residence and were greeted by Nelson's dogs. Henderson and Nelson began to run, but it is unclear whether they were trying to restrain the dogs or escape. As Henderson ran, his cell phone dropped out of his pocket. Records from the cell phone reflected multiple calls among the participants from their respective cell phones immediately before the robbery.

         In a post-arrest interview, Plummer described what had happened at the drug store in detail and admitted taking money from the drugstore clerk. He said he ran out of the back door of the pharmacy and threw the loot into the back of the awaiting vehicle.

         Henderson, Mallett, and Plummer were tried together. The trial began November 15, 2015, but a mistrial was declared. The second trial began February 9, 2016, and ended February 17, 2016, with a verdict of guilty on the first-degree robbery charge as to all three defendants. Plummer appeals, contending there was insufficient evidence to survive a motion for judgment of acquittal. He has also filed a pro se brief claiming ineffective assistance of counsel.

         II. Sufficiency of the Evidence

         A. ...


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