from the Iowa District Court for Polk County, Jeanie K.
defendant appeals his conviction of theft in the second
C. Smith, State Appellate Defender, and Bradley M. Bender,
Assistant Appellate Defender, for appellant.
J. Miller, Attorney General, and Louis S. Sloven, Assistant
Attorney General, for appellee.
Considered by Vogel, P.J., and Potterfield and Mullins, JJ.
Grant appeals his conviction for second-degree theft, in
violation of Iowa Code sections 714.1(4), 714.2(2) (2015),
and the habitual offender sentencing enhancement imposed
pursuant to section 902.8. He claims the evidence was
insufficient to support his conviction, the verdict is
against the weight of the evidence,  and the district court
abused its discretion during sentencing.
Background Facts and Proceedings
November 29, 2015, Andre Carl and his family returned home
from out-of-state Thanksgiving gatherings. When they arrived
home, Carl noticed his vehicle was not in the driveway and
the front door was unlocked. As he entered the home, the
entire house appeared to have been ransacked. Carl
immediately called the police and his insurance company.
with the City of West Des Moines Police Department searched
Robert Brooks's residence in relation to a separate
investigation. Brooks consented to the search, and the
detectives located a Green Bay Packers stock certificate
belonging to Andre Carl. Brooks eventually stated he received
the certificate from his step-nephew, Todd Grant, and the
detectives notified the Des Moines Police Department. Once
provided with Grant's current location, the detectives
and the Des Moines police took Grant into custody in the
parking lot of an apartment complex. Grant's girlfriend,
Jennifer Lumley, approached and indicated she lived at the
apartment. Lumley consented to a search of her apartment
where a set of keys was located, one of which opened the
padlock to Lumley's seldom-used hallway storage closet.
To Lumley's surprise, the detectives found the storage
closet packed full with approximately twenty bags, each
containing many miscellaneous items.
was able to identify three or four bags exclusively
containing his property, in addition to one piece of luggage.
The bags contained various clothing items, some toiletries,
and a few electronics.
was charged with theft in the second degree. The charge
alleged "the theft of any property exceeding one
thousand dollars but not exceeding ten thousand dollars in
value." See Iowa Code § 714.2(2). The
sentence was also enhanced due to Grant's status as a
habitual offender pursuant to section 902.8. A jury found
Grant guilty of second-degree theft. The court sentenced him
to a term of fifteen years with a mandatory minimum of three
years, imposed and then suspended "a $750 fine plus
surcharge, " and ordered the term of incarceration to
run consecutively with Grant's probation-violation
sentence. Grant appeals.
Scope of Review
review claims of insufficient evidence for errors at law.
State v. Rohm, 609 N.W.2d 504, 509 (Iowa 2000). We
will "uphold a finding of guilt if 'substantial
evidence' supports the verdict." Id.
"'Substantial evidence' is evidence upon which a
rational finder of fact could find a defendant guilty beyond
a reasonable doubt." Id. "We generally
review rulings on motions for new trial asserting a verdict
is contrary to the ...