from the Iowa District Court for Keokuk County, Daniel P.
Smith appeals his conviction for domestic assault.
D. Tindal of Keegan & Farnsworth, Iowa City, for
J. Miller, Attorney General, and Bridget A. Chambers,
Assistant Attorney General, for appellee.
Considered by Vogel, P.J., and Tabor and Bower, JJ.
Smith appeals his conviction for domestic assault causing
bodily injury, in violation of Iowa Code sections 708.1(1),
708.2A(2)(b), and 236.2(2)(c) (2016). Nathan claims the
district court erred by admitting hearsay evidence and claims
trial counsel was ineffective. We find the district court
properly admitted the evidence and preserve Nathan's
other claim of ineffective assistance for possible
postconviction relief. We affirm the district court.
Background Facts and Proceedings
2, 2016, Keokuk Sherriff's Deputy Pence was dispatched to
Delta, Iowa, after a 911 caller reported a domestic assault.
Deputy Pence arrived and spoke with Crystal Rawson-Smith and
her daughter immediately after the incident. Crystal reported
she had been assaulted by Nathan Smith, her husband, against
whom she had begun divorce proceedings and had a no-contact
order, the result of previous incident of domestic abuse.
stated she arrived at Nathan's grandmother's house
with her daughter for the purpose of picking up the
couples' son. After Crystal arrived she and Nathan began
to argue. Crystal attempted to leave, but Nathan removed the
keys from her car. After Crystal got out of the car, Nathan
pushed her against it. She escaped and attempted to run to a
friend's house located nearby. Nathan caught her and
threw her down. The daughter reached the friend's house
and dialed 911. Crystal was again able to escape and entered
her friend's house.
Pence arrived, photographed visible injuries consistent with
Crystal's version of the events, took Crystal's
statement, asked Crystal to write out a formal statement, and
left to locate Nathan. Nathan was found the same night,
though the record is unclear as to the exact time. Nathan
admitted he had been in contact with Crystal to exchange
their son but stated he had not argued with or assaulted her.
After finding Nathan, Deputy Pence returned to collect the
statement from Crystal.
was charged on June 10. On October 17, the State alleged
Crystal recanted her previous statements and, therefore, was
an unavailable witness. The State claimed the residual
hearsay exception applied to Exhibit 5, Crystal's written
statement, but Nathan resisted the State's motion. A
hearing was held but not recorded, and Nathan's presence
was waived by counsel. During the hearing, trial counsel
withdrew his resistance, and the district court found the
residual hearsay exception applied.
began October 25. During the trial, the State offered
Crystal's verbal statement, and Nathan did not object.
The State also offered the written statement, and Nathan
objected, claiming the evidence was hearsay. The district
court overruled the objection and found the written statement
was admissible as an excited utterance, as well as under the
residual hearsay rule. Nathan was found guilty by a jury