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State v. Moore

Court of Appeals of Iowa

September 27, 2017

STATE OF IOWA, Plaintiff-Appellee,
v.
CHRISTOPHER ALLEN MOORE, Defendant-Appellant.

         Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Woodbury County, John D. Ackerman, Judge.

         The defendant appeals his conviction of criminal mischief in the first degree.

          Rees Conrad Douglas, Sioux City, for appellant.

          Thomas J. Miller, Attorney General, and Kelli A. Huser, Assistant Attorney General, for appellee.

          Considered by Vogel, P.J., and Potterfield and Mullins, JJ.

          MULLINS, Judge.

         Christopher Moore appeals his conviction of criminal mischief in the first degree. Moore challenges both the sufficiency and the weight of the evidence supporting his conviction. In both respects, he claims the evidence does not establish he was the person who committed the crime.

         I. Background Facts and Proceedings.

         In November 2015, Moore was charged by trial information with criminal mischief in the first degree. It was alleged that on the night of November 11, 2015, he had intentionally damaged a number of pieces of construction equipment and a neighbor's truck that were parked near Moore's house and the resulting damage was more than $10, 000. The construction equipment was in Moore's neighborhood in connection with work on a broken water main.

         A few months later, Moore filed a notice of alibi, stating his father would testify Moore was at the father's house during the time the vandalism was alleged to have occurred.

         The matter proceeded to a jury trial in July 2016. At trial, Moore's neighbor of several years, Renea Junck, testified she heard a noise outside at approximately 9:00 p.m. on the night in question; the noise led her to look outside through one of her home's windows. Once she did so, she recognized Moore's truck as he drove it, pushing a construction sign into another vehicle on the street. She then saw Moore exit the vehicle and enter his home. A few minutes later, Moore exited his home, picked up a brick, and threw it through the windshield of another vehicle. She next saw him enter his home and then come back out carrying what appeared to be some type of tool. Moore methodically went from tire to tire on the various pieces of machinery on the street; Junck testified she could tell Moore was "messing with the tires, " but it was initially unclear exactly what he was doing. At some point, she recognized he was pushing the tool-what she believed to be a drill-into the tires. Junck called 911 at approximately 9:21 p.m.; she reported her neighbor had broken a window in a piece of construction equipment and, although she could not tell exactly what he was doing, he was now working his way down the block to all of the pieces of construction equipment. Junck did not know Moore's name, but she described Moore's residence, his vehicle, his physical appearance, and what he was wearing.

         Junck's boyfriend, Justin Stricker, testified similarly. He was sitting with Junck when he heard a loud noise outside. When he looked out, he recognized Moore's truck and he saw Moore use the truck to push a construction sign into a vehicle on the street. Moore then went into his home for approximately five to ten minutes before he returned outside and threw a brick through the windshield of a truck. Stricker could not remember if he saw Moore enter his house again, but he remembered seeing Moore around the construction equipment with something in his hands. Stricker noticed Moore was standing next to the tires, but he could not tell what he was doing to them.

         Local police officers responded to the call from Junck at approximately 9:30 p.m. The officers noted a number of punctured tires, stating they could hear the hissing of the expelling air as soon as they got near the equipment. In addition, a number of windows were broken in a piece of John Deere equipment and the windshield of a white truck was damaged. The officers checked the registration of the vehicle Junck had described in her call to 911 and found that it was registered to Moore at the address Junck had described. The officers then attempted to make contact with Moore, but no one answered the door of his home. The officers noted a fresh, muddy footprint in Moore's enclosed front porch.

         Different police officers returned the next day in another attempt to speak with Moore. When Moore came to his front door, the officers told him they wanted to speak to him about damage to the construction equipment. Moore had complaints about construction equipment, barricades, and debris and tried to show the officers images on his cellphone. He also complained of ...


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