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Moody v. State

Court of Appeals of Iowa

October 25, 2017

ANTHONY LAVEAL MOODY, Applicant-Appellant,
v.
STATE OF IOWA, Respondent-Appellee.

         Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Lee (South) County, John M. Wright, Judge.

         An applicant appeals the denial of postconviction relief. AFFIRMED.

          Eric D. Tindal of Nidey Erdahl Tindal & Fisher, PLC, Marengo, for appellant.

          Thomas J. Miller, Attorney General, and Zachary C. Miller, Assistant Attorney General, for appellee State.

          Considered by Danilson, C.J., and Tabor and McDonald, JJ.

          TABOR, JUDGE

         Convicted of four drug crimes in two consolidated cases, Anthony Moody appeals the denial of his application for postconviction relief. Moody first claims his criminal trial attorney was ineffective by not resisting the State's motion to consolidate two pending prosecutions into a single trial. He next claims his direct-appeal and postconviction counsel delivered subpar representation by failing to allege trial counsel was ineffective for not seeking a limiting instruction at the consolidated trial. Because Moody fails to show the reasonable probability of a different outcome had trial counsel lobbied for separate trials, we affirm the denial of postconviction relief. Because the record is inadequate to assess his second claim, we preserve it for any subsequent postconviction-relief action.

         I. Prior Proceedings

         In June 2011, the State filed a trial information (FECR008010) charging Moody with two counts of cocaine delivery, in violation of Iowa Code section 124.401(1)(c)(2) (2011), related to controlled drug buys with informant Angela Bollin that occurred in January 2011. Moody's October 2011 trial on those offenses ended in a mistrial due to a hung jury.

         In May 2012, the State charged Moody in a three-count trial information (FECR008227) with delivery of cocaine, in violation of section 124.401(1)(c)(2), related to a controlled buy with informant Trevelt Washington on January 5, 2012; money laundering, in violation of section 706B.2(1)(a), alleged to have occurred on January 20, 2011; and possession of marijuana, in violation of section 124.401(5), alleged to have occurred on May 2, 2012.

         Moody's new defense attorney, retained after the mistrial, filed a motion in limine asking to exclude references to "his prior charges for possession and delivery of a controlled substance and the proposed testimony of Angela Bollin as it relates to alleged controlled buys not at issue in this matter." In ruling on the defense motion, the district court was satisfied the State had authenticated the text messages between Moody and informants Bollin and Washington. The court decided the messages would be admissible "subject to a showing of relevancy."

         In December 2012, the State moved to consolidate the two cases for trial. The motion asserted the court had entered an order in FECR008227 permitting Bollin's testimony on the January 2011 events as relevant to the money-laundering count. The motion continued: "Because the evidence will be exactly the same and include all charges contained in FECR8010, the State moves to combine these charges for purposes of trial." The defense filed a response, stating: "In light of the court's ruling on the motion in limine, the defendant concedes judicial economy would be served by a joint trial on these matters." Moody's January 2013 jury trial ended in guilty verdicts on all five charges. He received a prison sentence not to exceed forty-five years.

         In Moody's direct appeal, our court affirmed the four drug counts, but reversed the money-laundering conviction. State v. Moody, No. 13-0576, 2014 WL 5861263, at *13 (Iowa Ct. App. Nov. 13, 2014) (deciding defense counsel failed to argue proper interpretation of money-laundering statute in motion for judgment of acquittal).

         In February 2015, Moody filed an application for postconviction relief alleging several deficiencies in the performance of his second trial counsel. In April 2016, the district court held a postconviction hearing at which the parties submitted the deposition testimony of Moody and ...


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