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State v. Pace

Court of Appeals of Iowa

March 21, 2018

STATE OF IOWA, Plaintiff-Appellee,
v.
ANTHONY DWAYNE JACKSON PACE, Defendant-Appellant.

          Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Floyd County, Peter B. Newell, District Associate Judge.

         Anthony Pace appeals from the judgment and sentence entered following his conviction for domestic abuse assault while displaying a dangerous weapon.

          Mark C. Smith, State Appellate Defender, and Vidhya K. Reddy, Assistant Appellate Defender, for appellant.

          Thomas J. Miller, Attorney General, and Aaron Rogers, Assistant Attorney General, for appellee.

          Heard by Danilson, C.J., and Vaitheswaran, Doyle, Tabor, and McDonald, JJ.

          DOYLE, Judge.

         Anthony Pace appeals from the judgment and sentence entered following his conviction for domestic abuse assault while displaying a dangerous weapon. He alleges his constitutional rights were violated when the State introduced into evidence statements by a nontestifying child. He also contends the court erred in finding he had the ability to pay room and board reimbursements without knowing the amount of those fees. Finally, Pace contends he is entitled to a new trial based on newly discovered evidence.

         I. Background Facts and Proceedings.

         Law enforcement officers responded to the home Pace shared with S.C. after receiving a report that Pace threatened to shoot S.C. Approximately one minute after the police entered the apartment, S.C.'s four-year-old child volunteered that Pace "was trying to kill [his] mom." Pace denied any wrongdoing. S.C. initially denied that Pace had threatened or tried to kill her but later gave a different account, stating that Pace had threatened her with a gun. The State charged Pace with domestic abuse assault while displaying a dangerous weapon.

         Given Pace's and S.C.'s differing accounts and the change in S.C.'s account of what occurred, the statements made by S.C.'s child became of central importance to the prosecution. Anticipating the State would try to enter the child's statements into evidence without calling the child to testify, Pace filed a motion in limine alleging that the child's statements violated his right to confrontation, constituted hearsay that did not fall within an exception to the hearsay rule, and were irrelevant, and the danger of unfair prejudice substantially outweighed any limited relevance. The prosecutor argued the statements fell within the "present sense impression" exception to the hearsay rule. The court deferred ruling on Pace's objections until the evidence was introduced at trial.

         At trial, both S.C. and Pace testified and gave conflicting accounts of what occurred on the day in question, and the prosecutor introduced the child's statements through witness testimony. During S.C.'s testimony, Pace's counsel objected to testimony concerning the child's statements, citing both the Confrontation Clause and the hearsay rule; the court overruled the objection. During the testimony of three other witnesses regarding the child's statements, Pace's counsel failed to reference the Confrontation Clause as grounds for the objection.

         At the close of trial, the jury found Pace guilty as charged. The court sentenced Pace to 365 days in jail with credit for time served. It ordered Pace to pay all financial obligations contained in the judgment and sentence in installments of at least $50 every thirty days until paid in full.

         Five months after Pace was sentenced, he filed a motion for new trial, alleging the discovery of new evidence in the form of a Facebook post made by S.C., stating that she had lied about Pace threatening her. Following a hearing, the district court denied the motion.

         II. Right to ...


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