from the Iowa District Court for Story County, Timothy J.
defendant appeals asserting there is a lack of evidence to
support his conviction.
C. Smith, State Appellate Defender, and Shellie L. Knipfer,
Assistant Appellate Defender, for appellant.
J. Miller, Attorney General, and Kyle P. Hanson and Tyler J.
Buller, Assistant Attorneys General, and Sarah Keely, Student
Legal Intern, for appellee.
Considered by Vogel, P.J., and Potterfield and Mullins, JJ.
a bench trial on the minutes, Charles Smith appeals his
conviction for accessory after the fact, in violation of Iowa
Code section 703.3 (2017). He asserts the evidence was
insufficient to prove he "harbor[ed], aid[ed], or
conceal[ed] the person who committed the offense, with the
intent to prevent the apprehension of the person who
committed the offense"-the third element of the crime of
accessory after the fact. See Iowa Code §
claims are reviewed for the correction of errors at law.
State v. Ortiz, 905 N.W.2d 174, 179 (Iowa 2017). We
consider all of the evidence viewed "in the light most
favorable to the State, including all reasonable inferences
that may be fairly drawn from the evidence."
Id. at 180. A verdict of guilty is upheld when it is
supported by substantial evidence. Id.
"Evidence is . . . substantial if, when viewed in the
light most favorable to the State, it can convince a rational
jury that the defendant is guilty beyond a reasonable
doubt." Id. (citation omitted).
agreed to a bench trial on the minutes of testimony. It is
reasonable to deduce from the minutes of testimony that Smith
was a passenger, sitting behind the driver, of a vehicle in
Ames, when the passenger-side occupants of that vehicle fired
two guns into a crowd of people, injuring three in the early
morning hours of February 19, 2017. Police exchanged gunfire
with the occupants of the vehicle, and the vehicle drove
away. Approximately one hour later, that same vehicle arrived
at the Fort Dodge hospital. Smith exited the car and assisted
the passenger-side occupants into the hospital so they could
receive medical care for their gunshot injuries. Smith
reentered the vehicle with the driver and left once the
injured occupants were inside the hospital, approximately
three minutes after arriving. The vehicle, riddled with
bullet holes, was then driven to the Budget Host Inn hotel
where it was abandoned. Smith and the driver then walked to a
college dormitory where Smith resided. Officers searched the
dormitory, and Smith and the driver were discovered in a room
that was not rented to Smith. When interviewed by police,
Smith admitted being in the car but denied shots were fired
from the car, denied seeing any guns, and denied seeing any
blood or knowing where the passenger-side occupants had been
shot. Smith denied participation in the shooting and denied
seeing or hearing anything.
maintains on appeal that simply being a passenger in a
vehicle that is involved in a drive-by shooting and assisting
injured friends into a hospital is not sufficient to support
a conviction for accessory after the fact by aiding the
persons who committed the offenses. However, the minutes of
evidence contain additional information.
viewed in the light most favorable to the State, we conclude
there was sufficient evidence in the record to prove Smith
aided the passenger-side occupants with the intent to prevent
their apprehension by assisting them into a hospital located
one hour away from where the shooting occurred, then hiding
the vehicle in a hotel parking lot, concealing himself in a
dormitory room that did not belong to him, and finally, lying
to the police regarding the events of that night upon his
arrest. Because substantial evidence supports the guilty
verdict, we affirm Smith's conviction and sentence.