from the Iowa District Court for Clinton County, Henry Latham
appeals his convictions for robbery in the first degree and
attempted murder. AFFIRMED.
C. Smith, State Appellate Defender, and Robert P. Ranschau,
Assistant Appellate Defender, for appellant.
J. Miller, Attorney General, and Martha E. Trout, Assistant
Attorney General, for appellee.
Vaitheswaran, P.J., and Doyle and Bower, JJ.
Lira appeals his convictions for robbery in the first degree
and attempted murder. We find Lira's convictions are
supported by substantial evidence. We affirm his convictions.
Background Facts & Proceedings
and Michael Dewispelaere were associated drug dealers in the
Quad Cities area. Dewispelaere would sell drugs to Lira, and
Lira would repay him with cash or different drugs. Late in
July 2015, Dewispelaere gave Lira two pounds of marijuana.
Lira did not pay the full purchase price at the time of the
exchange and was expected to pay about $5000 to Dewispelaere
when Lira sold the marijuana. After about a week, Lira
informed Dewispelaere he had been robbed and was unable to
beginning of August, Lira wanted to buy five pounds of
marijuana from Dewispelaere. Lira hoped to make enough
reselling it he would be able to repay Dewispelaere for the
earlier sale. The parties met twice, but the sale never
occurred due to mistrust on both sides. After the sale fell
through, Lira texted Dewispelaere stating, "You made me
look like a straight jerk, bro, " and "I'm not
even going to fake the funk with you, bro. I feel so
disrespected by the way you did that."
August 11, 2015, Lira texted Dewispelaere stating, "I
got that bread for you now, " which Dewispelaere
believed meant Lira was ready to pay him for the earlier
sale. Lira asked Dewispelaere to pick him up, which
Dewispelaere did at about 10:00 p.m. Lira made some calls on
his cell phone as they were traveling.
stated he needed to pick up some cocaine, which Dewispelaere
believed Lira intended to give him in partial payment of his
debt. Lira told Dewispelaere to stop at an apartment complex
in West Davenport. Dewispelaere testified, when he stopped a
man jumped into the backseat of his vehicle and pointed a gun
at his head, saying he was going to kill Dewispelaere.
Dewispelaere stated Lira told him they intended to rob him
and also stated, "This is what happens when you
disrespect me." Dewispelaere was told to drive to his
home, where the robbers believed he had drugs and cash.
Another vehicle followed Dewispelaere's vehicle.
than drive to his home, Dewispelaere drove to the police
station in DeWitt. He was familiar with its location as he
had opened an account at a bank across the street a week
earlier. Dewispelaere purposely drove his vehicle into the
rear end of a squad car parked in front of the station.
Dewispelaere testified Lira said, "Do it, " and the
third man fired four shots. All three men got out of the
vehicle. The shooter got into the vehicle that had been
following them and left the area. Dewispelaere stated he saw
Lira running away so he tackled him. After hitting Lira a few
times, Dewispelaere realized he had been shot. Lira was able
to get up and run away. Officer Jeff Williams came out of the
police station and found Dewispelaere bleeding profusely.
Dewispelaere was taken to the hospital, where doctors found a
bullet had traveled through his shoulder and was lodged in
called his girlfriend, Haley Sacakli, and asked her to pick
him up in DeWitt. He stated he was unfamiliar with DeWitt and
needed Sacakli to download an app so she could find him
through his cell phone. His clothes were covered in blood
when he got in Sacakli's vehicle. Lira went to his
parents' house, where he burned his clothes. Lira's