Searching over 5,500,000 cases.

Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

State v. Henderson

Supreme Court of Iowa

March 9, 2018

STATE OF IOWA, Appellee,

         On review from Iowa Court of Appeals.

         Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Black Hawk County, George Stigler, Judge.

         A defendant appeals his conviction for first-degree robbery.

          John Audlehelm of Audlehelm Law Office, Des Moines, for appellant.

          Thomas J. Miller, Attorney General, Martha E. Trout, Assistant Attorney General, Brian Williams, County Attorney, and Bradley Walz, Assistant County Attorney, for appellee.

          MANSFIELD, Justice.

         Can a getaway driver be convicted of first-degree robbery under the dangerous weapon alternative without knowing or intending that the robbery does involve a dangerous weapon? In our view, the answer to this question is no.

         Here the defendant agreed to be the getaway driver for two others who were going to rob a pharmacy. The robbery took place, but the defendant never gave a ride to his compatriots because they were apprehended by the police before any rendezvous occurred.

         Since a gun had been used, all three individuals were charged with first-degree robbery. Iowa Code § 711.2 (2015). After a joint trial, all three were convicted of that charge. The defendant appealed, arguing among other things that the record did not contain substantial evidence he knew a gun would be used in the robbery. The court of appeals affirmed.

         On further review, we reverse the defendant's conviction for robbery in the first degree under Iowa Code section 711.2 and remand for entry of judgment and sentencing for robbery in the second degree under section 711.3. We hold that the defendant's conviction under an aiding and abetting theory required the State to prove the defendant not only participated in or encouraged the crime, but also knew of it, including the dangerous weapon element. Because the State failed to prove defendant had knowledge or intent of the use of a gun, a motion for judgment of acquittal on this basis would have been meritorious, and the defendant's trial counsel rendered ineffective assistance in failing to move for acquittal on this basis.

         I. Facts and Procedural Background.

         On February 9, 2015, the defendant K'von Henderson and his friends, Riley Mallett, Cody Plummer, Myles Anderson, and Dayton Nelson, were hanging out at Plummer's home. At some point, Mallett suggested robbing the Greenwood Pharmacy in Waterloo. The group agreed and spent the rest of the evening hashing out the details, including each participant's respective role in the robbery. The initial plan was for Anderson and Mallett to enter the pharmacy, and Henderson and Nelson to be drivers. Henderson would take Anderson and Mallett away from the scene in a white Oldsmobile, and Nelson would drive the drugs and money away in a separate vehicle-a black BMW.

         The parties also discussed how they would perpetrate the robbery itself. According to Nelson, [1] they decided not to use a gun. Instead, they intended to use a threatening note.

Q. Now, when you made this plan to rob this pharmacy, you know very well that there was supposed to be no guns at all involved in this robbery, correct?
A. Yes, sir.
Q. That was made certain at this house, Cody Plummer's house?
A. Yes, sir.
Q. And it's fair to say that nobody was supposed to even get hurt in this robbery, correct?
A. Yes, sir.
. . . .
Q. In doing so, during that planning, how were you- how were the people that entered the pharmacy going to attempt to get the employees at Greenwood Pharmacy to give them anything without showing a weapon or without using any kind of force.
A. A note.
Q. And what was the nature of the note going to be?
A. Just so you didn't have to use anything else.

         The following day, February 10, was a flurry of activity and communication for the group. Cellphone records revealed that the parties called each other frequently that day, and the timing of the calls coincided with later trial testimony as to when the men were together and when they were apart. Mallett texted Anderson in the early hours of the morning to confirm that both had obtained masks for the robbery. Approximately an hour and a half before the robbery, Anderson backed out of his role as one of the two entrants into the pharmacy. Plummer took his place.

         The group brought two vehicles to the pharmacy parking lot: the BMW and the Oldsmobile. Mallett drove Anderson and Plummer in the BMW, while Nelson and Henderson went separately in the Oldsmobile. After everyone arrived in the pharmacy parking lot, Nelson exited the Oldsmobile and got into the driver's seat of the BMW. Henderson split off from the group and drove the Oldsmobile by himself to the meeting point where he was supposed to pick up Plummer and Mallett after the robbery.

         According to Nelson, after Henderson had left, and immediately before Plummer and Mallett were to enter the pharmacy, Anderson produced a firearm similar to a police-issued firearm. Anderson referred to this gun as ...

Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.