from the Iowa District Court for Marshall County, John J.
Haney (motion to suppress) and James C. Ellefson (trial),
Robbins appeals his convictions following a jury trial.
Christopher A. Clausen of Clausen Law Office, Ames, for
J. Miller, Attorney General, and Zachary C. Miller, Assistant
Attorney General, for appellee.
Considered by Vogel, P.J., and Potterfield and Mullins, JJ.
Robbins appeals from his convictions for several drug-related
offenses asserting his motion to suppress should have been
granted because the application for the search warrant lacked
corroboration, he was entitled to a Franks hearing,
and the district court abused its discretion in declining to
reopen the suppression record. Robbins also asserts his
motions for judgment of acquittal and new trial should have
been granted. Because there is sufficient evidence to
corroborate the warrant application information and Robbins
was given two suppression hearings to make his challenges to
the search warrant, his motion to suppress evidence was
properly denied. We also agree with the district court that
Robbins was competent to stand trial, there was sufficient
evidence of Robbins's in-court identity, and there was no
abuse of discretion in allowing the jury to hear an audio
recording on a different playback device in the jury room. We
Background Facts and Proceedings
April 7, 2014, Marshalltown Police obtained a search warrant
and a S.W.A.T. team executed the warrant on a residence
occupied by Robbins. Officers found approximately one-half
pound of methamphetamine, approximately two pounds of
marijuana, drug paraphernalia, and cash. An officer spoke
with Robbins following the search and asked him who occupied
the northwest bedroom where most of the contraband was found.
Robbins answered, "Mel and me, " indicating he
shared the room with a woman. The conversation was captured
on an audio recording. Robbins was arrested and charged with
possession of methamphetamine with intent to deliver, in
violation of Iowa Code sections 124.401(1)(b)(7) and 124.441
(2014); possession of marijuana with intent to deliver, in
violation of Iowa Code sections 124.401(1)(d) and 124.441;
failure to affix a drug-tax stamp, methamphetamine, as a
habitual offender, in violation of Iowa Code sections 453B.3,
902.7, and 902.9(1)(c); and failure to affix a drug-tax
stamp, marijuana, as a habitual offender, in violation of
Iowa Code sections 453B.3, 902.8, and
902.9(1)(c). Robbins proceeded to a jury trial, was
convicted of the aforementioned charges, and was sentenced.
Standards of Review
review of a district court's ruling regarding probable
cause for issuance of a search warrant is de novo. State
v. Myers, 570 N.W.2d 70, 72 (Iowa 1997). Under our de
novo review, we must determine whether the district court
properly decided whether the magistrate had a substantial
basis for concluding that probable cause existed. See
State v. Green, 540 N.W.2d 649, 655 (Iowa 1995).
review a district court's grant or denial of a motion in
arrest of judgment and a motion for a new trial for abuse of
discretion." State v. Smith, 753 N.W.2d 562,
564 (Iowa 2008); Millis v. Hute, 587 N.W.2d 625, 629
(Iowa Ct. App. 1998). We will not reverse unless the court
abused its discretion by making a "clearly
untenable" ruling "without reason." State
v. Andrews, 447 N.W.2d 118, 120 (Iowa 1989).
Motion to Suppress
Robbins asserts the district court should have granted his
motion to suppress evidence obtained under the search warrant
because there was not adequate corroboration of the
informant's information to meet the credibility
requirement and the application contained misrepresentations.
cause to issue a search warrant exists 'when the facts
and circumstances presented to the judicial officer are
sufficient in themselves to justify the belief of a
reasonably cautious person that an offense has been or is
being committed.'" State v. Groff, 323
N.W.2d 204, 212 (Iowa 1982) (citations omitted). Probable
cause requires a probability determination that "(1) the
items sought are connected to criminal activity and (2) the
items sought will be found in the place to be searched."
State v. Gogg, 561 N.W.2d 360, 363 (Iowa 1997). The
assessment of probable cause is not to be an overly technical
exercise. Id. at 364.
The task of the issuing magistrate is simply to make a
practical, common-sense decision whether, given all the
circumstances set forth in the affidavit before him,
including the "veracity" and "basis of
knowledge" of persons supplying hearsay information,
there is a fair probability that contraband or evidence of a
crime will be found in a particular place.
Illinois v. Gates, 462 U.S. 213, 238 (1983). When
reviewing the application, all reasonable inferences are
drawn in support of the judge's finding of probable cause
and we give great deference to the judge's conclusion.
Gogg, 561, N.W.2d at 364. Because we give preference
to searches pursuant to warrants, we resolve doubts in favor
of the warrant's validity. State v. Weir, 414
N.W.2d 327, 330 (Iowa 1987). The amount of evidence needed to
support probable cause is ...