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State v. Williams

Court of Appeals of Iowa

February 21, 2018

STATE OF IOWA, Plaintiff-Appellee,
v.
BRIAN SHANE WILLIAMS, Defendant-Appellant.

          Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Jasper County, Steven J. Holwerda, District Associate Judge.

         Defendant appeals his conviction for tampering with a witness.

          Mark C. Smith, State Appellate Defender, and Stephan J. Japuntich, Assistant Appellate Defender, for appellant.

          Thomas J. Miller, Attorney General, and Linda J. Hines, Assistant Attorney General, for appellee.

          Considered by Danilson, C.J., and Vaitheswaran and Bower, JJ.

          BOWER, Judge.

         Brian Williams appeals his conviction for tampering with a witness. We find the district court did not err in ruling Williams could be found guilty of tampering with his own witness and his wife's testimony was not barred by marital privilege. We find there is sufficient evidence to support Williams's conviction. Williams has not shown he received ineffective assistance of counsel. We affirm Williams's conviction for tampering with a witness.

         I. Background Facts & Proceedings

         Williams was charged with two counts of failure to comply with the sex offender registry. The State alleged he was not living at the residence he had listed with the registry. Williams filed notice of several defense witnesses, including his wife, Beth Williams, and Samuel Martin.

         According to a police report filed on May 25, 2016, by Deputy Duane Rozendaal of the Jasper County Sheriff's Office, Beth was living in a house with Martin and Lori Cupp, when Williams began living there as well. Deputy Rozendaal's report states:

Beth was fully aware of the residence violation. . . . Beth says that she spoke to Burdess on the 24th and somehow Brian found out about that and 2 hours after she got home from work, Brian called up and was calling me every name in the book and threatening me that you are going to pay for it and that he knows he is going back to prison.

         Cupp stated she was also fully aware Williams was not supposed to be living at the house. She stated Williams "mentioned he was going to call the cops and turn in their house as a drug house to get them in trouble." Martin stated Williams yelled everyone was turning against him. Martin stated it appeared Williams wanted to fight him and he was fearful of possible retaliation from Williams.

         Williams was charged with two counts of tampering with a witness, in violation of Iowa Code section 720.4 (2016), an aggravated misdemeanor. Count I was in relation to Beth, while Count II was in relation to Martin. The minutes of testimony listed the witnesses and included the police report.

         Williams filed a motion to strike witnesses, claiming the minutes of testimony did not comply with Iowa Rule of Criminal Procedure 2.5(3) because they did not include "a full quote and fair statement of the witnesses' expected testimony." In the alternative, he claimed the State had failed to properly file the trial information and the charges should be dismissed. The court found the police report satisfied the requirement of informing a defendant of the substance of ...


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