IN THE INTEREST OF E.B., Minor Child, E.B., Appellant.
from the Iowa District Court for Plymouth County, Robert J.
Dull, District Associate Judge.
appeals a juvenile court order adjudicating him delinquent
for intimidation with a dangerous weapon.
B. Brock II of Law Office of Robert B. Brock II, P.C., Le
Mars, for appellant.
J. Miller, Attorney General, and Mary A. Triick, Assistant
Attorney General, for appellee.
Considered by Vogel, P.J., Mullins, J., and Blane, S.J.
child, E.B., appeals a juvenile court order adjudicating him
delinquent for intimidation with a dangerous weapon. He
argues the evidence was insufficient to support a finding
beyond a reasonable doubt that he committed the delinquent
act. He specifically contends the State failed to present
evidence to establish the necessary showing that his actions
placed someone "in reasonable apprehension of serious
injury." See Iowa Code § 708.6 (2016).
December 9, 2016, several students, including E.B., were
sitting at a table together in study hall at their local high
school. During the study-hall period, E.B. advised one of the
students sitting at the table, T.H., he was going to
"shoot up the school." E.B. asked T.H. if he could
obtain a gun for him. When T.H. responded in the negative,
E.B. advised he could likely get one from his brother. T.H.
also testified that E.B. advised him at some other time that
"he was going to start in the office so they
couldn't announce that it was happening." One of the
other students at the study-hall table, B.F., overheard
E.B.'s remarks that he was going to "shoot up the
school" and could obtain a gun from his brother. B.F.
was concerned about the statement and believed E.B. was
serious. B.F. sent the school principal an email regarding
school principal received B.F.'s report later that
evening. The following Monday morning, the principal
questioned E.B. about his statement. E.B. explained B.F.
simply overheard him retelling a story about another
person's statement. The principal took his word for it
and took no action. A few days later, the principal received
information from another student that prompted her to
question T.H. Upon being questioned about his previous
conversation with E.B.in study hall, T.H. advised the
principal that E.B. told him he would shoot up the school if
he could get his hands on a firearm. T.H. noted E.B.'s
plan was to start his attack in the office. The principal and
other faculty members subsequently discussed the allegations
with E.B. E.B. admitted that he made the statements but
asserted he was only joking, referring to his statements as
"shock humor, shock comedy." E.B. also advised the
principal: "But if I did bring a gun to school I would
go after the-not my friends, first I would go after the kids
I don't like."
was suspended from school, and the principal notified local
law enforcement of the situation. The State ultimately filed
a delinquency petition alleging a violation of Iowa Code
section 708.6. Following an adjudication hearing, the
juvenile court adjudicated E.B. delinquent for
"threatening to shoot or discharge a dangerous weapon
within an assembly of people or in a building occupied by
another person under circumstances raising a reasonable
expectation the threat will be carried out." The court
placed E.B. on formal probation. This appeal followed.
delinquency proceedings are "special proceedings that
serve as an alternative" to the criminal prosecution of
children. In re D.S., 856 N.W.2d 348, 351 (Iowa
2014) (quoting In re J.A.L., 694 N.W.2d 748, 751
(Iowa 2005)). "We review the sufficiency of the evidence
for juvenile adjudications de novo." Id. We
give weight to the factual findings of the district court,
especially concerning the credibility of witnesses, but we
are not bound by them. Id. We presume the child is
innocent "unless the state has proved beyond a
reasonable doubt that the child engaged in" delinquent
conduct. Iowa Code § 232.47(10).
noted, E.B. argues the evidence was insufficient to support a
finding beyond a reasonable doubt that he committed the
delinquent act because the State failed to present evidence
to establish the necessary showing that his actions placed
someone "in reasonable apprehension of serious
Code section 708.6 contains two variations of the offense of
intimidation with a dangerous weapon. The State alleged, and the
juvenile court found, E.B. committed the variation that, if
he were an adult, would amount to a class "D"
felony. That variation provides:
A person commits a class "D" felony when the person
shoots, throws, launches, or discharges a dangerous weapon
at, into, or in a building, vehicle, airplane, railroad
engine, railroad car, or boat, occupied by another person, or
within an assembly of people, and thereby places the
occupants or people in reasonable apprehension of serious
injury or threatens to commit such an act under