from the Iowa District Court for Mills County, James S.
Troutman appeals from his conviction for murder in the first
C. Smith, State Appellate Defender, and Robert P. Ranschau,
Assistant Appellate Defender, for appellant.
J. Miller, Attorney General, and Thomas E. Bakke, Assistant
Attorney General, for appellee.
Considered by Vogel, P.J., Potterfield, J., and Mahan, S.J.
Troutman shot and killed his ex-girlfriend after being
unhappy with how their relationship ended. A jury found him
guilty of murder in the first degree. On appeal, Troutman
contends the district court erred in overruling his motion to
strike a potential juror for cause, his counsel was
ineffective, and his conviction was against the weight of the
evidence. Facts will be set forth below as are relevant to
the issues raised.
Challenge for Cause
claims the district court erred in overruling his motion to
strike a potential juror for cause. Iowa Rule of Criminal
Procedure 2.18(5)(k) allows a party to challenge a
prospective juror if the juror "form[s] or expresse[s]
such an opinion as to the guilt or innocence of the defendant
[that] would prevent the juror from rendering a true verdict
upon the evidence submitted on the trial." The district
court is vested with broad discretion in ruling on a
challenge for cause. State v. Tillman, 514 N.W.2d
105, 107 (Iowa 1994).
voir dire, defense counsel moved to strike a number of jurors
for cause. The district court granted several motions by
counsel but denied his motions to strike Jurors A, B, C, and
D. Juror D was ultimately struck by the State's use of a
peremptory strike. Defense counsel used peremptory strikes to
remove Jurors A and B. Neither side used a peremptory strike
to remove Juror C. Counsel used all ten of Troutman's
peremptory strikes and did not request additional strikes
after he exhausted his peremptory challenges.
Troutman contends the court erred in overruling counsel's
challenge to Juror C.He further claims, "Forcing trial
counsel to eliminate jurors through the use of peremptory
strikes who should have been struck for cause resulted in
structural error in the proceedings . . . ."
the parties filed their briefs, the supreme court addressed
the issue of disqualification of jurors for cause in
State v. Jonas, 904 N.W.2d 566');">904 N.W.2d 566, 576-85
(Iowa 2017). The court clarified Iowa's view on the
question of prejudice when the court improperly refuses to
disqualify a potential juror. Jonas, 904 N.W.2d at
583-84. Specifically, the court held:
[I]n order to show prejudice when the district court
improperly refuses to disqualify a potential juror under Iowa
Rule of Criminal Procedure 2.18(5)(k) and thereby causes a
defendant to expend a peremptory challenge under rule
2.18(9), the defendant must specifically ask the court
for an additional strike of a particular juror after his
peremptory challenges have been ...