from the Iowa District Court for Scott County, John D.
defendant appeals the court's decision to admit into
evidence a 911 tape of the victim over his Confrontation
G. Hoover of Blair & Fitzsimmons, P.C., Dubuque, for
J. Miller, Attorney General, and Genevieve Reinkoester,
Assistant Attorney General, for appellee.
Considered by Doyle, P.J., Mullins, J., and Scott, S.J.
a bench trial, Jason Williams appeals his conviction for
possession of a firearm as a felon, operating while barred as
a habitual offender, and domestic abuse assault causing
bodily injury. See Iowa Code §§
321.560, 321.561, 708.2A(2)(b), 724.26(1) (2015). He asserts
on appeal the district court violated his Confrontation
Clause rights by admitting the entire recording of the 911
phone call the victim made on the morning of the incident.
Because we conclude the admission of the recording did not
violate the Confrontation Clause, we affirm his conviction.
Background Facts and Proceedings.
approximately 8:00 a.m. on October 31, 2015, Williams arrived
at the home of Patricia Schultz. When his key failed to open
the door, Williams began banging on the doors and windows,
attempting to wake up Schultz to let him in. Awakened,
Schultz dialed 911 to report that Williams was at the house
and that he was not supposed to be there. As Williams banged
on the window, he saw Schultz inside with another man.
Williams then pushed in the window and climbed inside. He
assaulted Schultz and pointed a gun at the other man before
leaving the house.
to trial, Williams filed a motion in limine, seeking to
exclude the recording of Schultz's 911 call on hearsay
and Confrontation Clause grounds. On the morning of trial,
the district court overruled the objection to the admission
of the 911 recording and concluded the evidence was properly
admitted as it fit within multiple exceptions to the hearsay
rule. See Iowa R. Evid. 5.803(1), (2), (6)
(outlining the present-sense-impression, excited-utterance,
and business-record hearsay exceptions). Schultz did not
testify at trial, but the other man present in her house the
morning of the incident did testify, as did Williams. The
court found Williams guilty on three of the charges filed
against him, and Williams was sentenced to a total of five
years in prison, with credit for time served.
Scope and Standard of Review.
standard of review is de novo for claims involving a
violation of the defendant's right to confront his
accuser. State v. Schaer, 757 N.W.2d 630, 633 (Iowa
asserts his Confrontation Clause rights were violated when
Schultz's 911 recording was admitted into evidence in its
entirety. The Confrontation Clause gives the
defendant the right "to be confronted with the witnesses
against him." U.S. Const. amend VI. "[T]his
provision bars 'admission of testimonial statements of a
witness who did not appear at trial unless [the witness] was
unavailable to testify, and the defendant had had a prior
opportunity for cross-examination.'" Davis v.
Washington, 547 U.S. 813, 821 (2006) (citation omitted).
Schultz did not appear for trial, ...