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State v. Quijas

Court of Appeals of Iowa

December 20, 2017

STATE OF IOWA, Plaintiff-Appellee,
v.
ABEL QUIJAS, JR., Defendant-Appellant.

         Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Fayette County, Richard D. Stochl, Judge.

         Abel Quijas, Jr. appeals his conviction for attempted murder.

          Mark C. Smith, State Appellate Defender, and Martha J. Lucey, Assistant Appellate Defender, for appellant.

          Thomas J. Miller, Attorney General, and Jean C. Pettinger, Assistant Attorney General, for appellee.

          Considered by Vaitheswaran, P.J., and Doyle and Bower, JJ.

          VAITHESWARAN, PRESIDING JUDGE.

         Abel Quijas, Jr. appeals a judgment for attempted murder. He contends the district court abused its discretion in overruling an objection to what he characterizes as other bad acts evidence. He also raises several ineffective assistance of counsel claims.

         I. Background Facts and Proceedings

         The Oelwein Police Department received notice of a package to be delivered to an address flagged for possible drug activity. The package contained a toy, which concealed a half-pound of methamphetamine. Officers took the package to the address. Abel Quijas, Sr. answered the door. The officers identified themselves and told him what was inside the package. Quijas, Sr. said the package was for his son, Abel Quijas, Jr.

         The officers had Quijas, Sr. call his son. Quijas came, retrieved the package, and left, followed by the officers, who had been hiding in a bedroom. Quijas refused to stop as instructed, got into his vehicle, and revved the motor. One of the officers braced himself against the hood of the car, withdrew his firearm, pointed it at Quijas, and yelled, "Don't do it, don't do it." Quijas looked at the officer, turned directly into him, and "mashed the gas."

         The State charged Quijas with attempt to commit murder. See Iowa Code § 707.11 (2013). A jury found him guilty as charged. This appeal followed.

         II. Other Acts Evidence

         At trial, the State elicited the following testimony from Quijas, Sr.: "Q. Before that day had other packages come to your apartment that your son called you on? A. Yes." Quijas' attorney interposed an objection, which the court construed as an objection to the line of questioning. The court overruled the objection, and the State continued the questioning as follows:

Q. Mr. Quijas, Sr., the question I . . . asked you, was there other packages that arrived for your son, the defendant, ...

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