from the Iowa District Court for Woodbury County, John D.
Woodard appeals his convictions for first-degree robbery and
first-degree burglary. AFFIRMED.
C. Smith, State Appellate Defender, and Shellie L. Knipfer,
Assistant Appellate Defender, for appellant.
J. Miller, Attorney General, and Genevieve Reinkoester,
Assistant Attorney General, for appellee.
Considered by Vaitheswaran, P.J., and Doyle and Bower, JJ.
VAITHESWARAN, PRESIDING JUDGE.
men-one wielding a knife-forced themselves into a home,
assaulted the woman who lived there, and stole $80 and a cell
phone. A jury found Thomas A. Woodard guilty of first-degree
robbery and first-degree burglary after his accomplice and
the woman testified against him. On appeal, Woodard
challenges the sufficiency of the evidence supporting the
findings of guilt. He specifically argues his
accomplice's identification of him as the second intruder
was insufficiently corroborated by the woman.
Rule of Criminal Procedure 2.21(3) governs corroboration of
accomplice testimony. It states:
A conviction cannot be had upon the testimony of an
accomplice or a solicited person, unless corroborated by
other evidence which shall tend to connect the defendant with
the commission of the offense; and the corroboration is not
sufficient if it merely shows the commission of the offense
or the circumstances thereof.
Iowa R. Crim. P. 2.21(3).
begin with the accomplice testimony. The second man who
participated in the crimes testified to being friends with
Woodard. He stated Woodard hatched a plan to drive from
Liberal, Kansas to Sioux City, Iowa and rob a drug house.
Woodard drove to the house, parked "[a]round the corner,
" "[w]alked up, " and "knocked on the
door." Woodard was wearing "[d]ark clothes, "
while the accomplice was wearing a red hooded sweatshirt and
"had a Band-Aid on [his] nose." The accomplice
testified both were wearing conspicuous black and white
gloves. He did not recall whether the sleeves to
Woodard's sweatshirt were up or down. When a woman opened
the door, both men walked in without permission. The
accomplice showed the woman a knife, which he held in his
left hand. Woodard told him to put the knife away. Meanwhile,
Woodard told the woman to take him to a bank. According to
the accomplice, the woman responded, "Can't go the
bank because nobody is supposed to be there at this time,
alarms will go off and police will show up." The woman
mentioned she had money in her purse. She gave Woodard $80.
The accomplice searched for a safe, returned from the
bedroom, and forced the woman to the ground. The two men
"ended up taping [the woman] up" and tying her to a
chair. The accomplice pled guilty to second-degree robbery
and first-degree burglary. Although his plea agreement did
not require him to testify at Woodard's trial, he stated
he "was told that if [he] didn't testify there would
be federal charges put against [him]."
woman corroborated large parts of the accomplice's
testimony. See State v. Peterson, 663 N.W.2d 417,
434 (Iowa 2003) ("Corroboration is required not only to
provide a firm connection between the accused and the crime
but also to enhance the credibility of an accomplice whose
involvement in the crime and self-interest in blaming the
defendant severely erode his believability." (quoting
State v. Ware, 338 N.W.2d 707, 710 (Iowa 1983))).
She testified two men came to her door. One "had a red
and white hoodie" and "a Band-Aid on his face,
" and "[t]he other had a black hoodie."
According to the woman, the men "immediately started
pushing [her] backward at [her] door." The man in the
red hoodie "presented the knife, " which he
"was holding . . . in his left hand." "The one
in the black hoodie told the one in the red hoodie to put
[the knife] down." The men "want[ed] cash."
She told them there was an alarm at the credit union where
she worked. The accomplice asked her where her safe was. She
responded she did not have one. She heard him go back to her
bedroom. She offered Woodard cash in hopes the men would
leave. He took approximately $80.
woman twice identified Woodard as the man in the black
hoodie- once in a photo line-up and a second time at trial.
We conclude the woman's testimony "tended to connect
[Woodard] with the commission of the offense." Iowa R.
Crim. P. 2.21(3).
reaching this conclusion, we have considered a discrepancy
between the accomplice's testimony that the men wore
gloves and the woman's testimony that neither wore
gloves. This discrepancy does not alter our conclusion
because corroborating testimony need not "confirm every
material fact ...