from the Iowa District Court for Boone County, Paul G.
Crawford, District Associate Judge.
Ingram appeals his convictions for domestic abuse assault
with a dangerous weapon and child endangerment.
C. Smith, State Appellate Defender, and Robert P. Ranschau,
Assistant Appellate Defender, for appellant.
J. Miller, Attorney General, and Louis S. Sloven, Assistant
Attorney General, for appellee.
Considered by Vogel, P.J., and Potterfield and Mullins, JJ.
Ingram appeals his convictions for domestic abuse assault
with a dangerous weapon, in violation of Iowa Code section
708.2A(3)(b) (2016), and child endangerment, in violation of
Iowa Code section 726.6(7). He claims his trial counsel was
ineffective for failing to object to the introduction of text
messages and for failing to strike a juror. He also claims
the district court erred in allowing the State to impeach his
witness with prior convictions and for denying his motions
for new trial based on the weight of the evidence and a
biased juror. Because the text messages were sufficiently
relevant and not unfairly prejudicial, we find his counsel
was not ineffective for not objecting to their introduction.
We also agree with the district court that the probative
value of the witness's prior convictions outweighs their
prejudicial effect, the weight of the evidence does not
require a new trial, and the juror was not impermissibly
biased. We preserve the ineffective-assistance claim relating
to the use of peremptory strikes. We affirm the convictions.
Background Facts and Proceedings
August 2016, Brian and Amanda Ingram had been married for
about twelve years. Around 5:30 or 6:00p.m., on the evening
of August 12, 2016, Brian and Amanda began arguing in their
home. The couple argued over whether to visit Laurie Larsen,
Amanda's friend, and Adam Winger, Larsen's friend.
Brian and Amanda's minor children-including
twelve-year-old J.I.-were in the home during the argument, as
were some of the children's friends. During the argument,
Brian entered their bedroom and picked up two of his
shotguns. Amanda testified Brian looked right at her, pointed
the shotguns at her toes, "and asked what toe [she]
wanted him to shoot first." J.I. was in the bedroom at
the time, and the other children in the home could have
heard-and possibly seen-Brian make the threat. An
eight-year-old friend who was in the Ingram home at the time
testified he saw and heard Brian threaten to shoot Amanda
while holding a shotgun. Amanda felt scared and did not know
what Brian would do. Brian then left the house with J.I. and
the argument, Amanda went to Larsen's home to meet Larsen
and Winger. Brian called and sent text messages to Amanda
while she was in the home. The text messages indicated Brian
was watching Amanda, Larsen, and Winger in the home. Brian
threatened Winger in the text messages. Amanda testified she
believed Brian still had his shotguns at the time, and the
text messages made her more scared. Amanda called the police
around 9:00 or 10:00p.m. that night.
after midnight on August 13, Deputy Dallas Wingate stopped
Brian's vehicle on a county road and identified Brian in
the driver's seat. Deputy Wingate also identified a child
matching J.I.'s description in the vehicle. The child did
not appear to be injured. Deputy Wingate did not find any
firearms in the vehicle.
trial, the State offered testimony from multiple witnesses,
including Amanda and the eight-year-old friend. Brian offered
the testimony of his uncle, Herbert Miller. Miller testified
that Amanda told him she had not been truthful with law
enforcement about the events of August 12. According to
Miller, Amanda was afraid she would go to jail if she
corrected her statements. On cross-examination, in response
to a question about his criminal history, Miller admitted he
had been convicted of two counts of theft in 1999.
jury found Brian guilty of domestic abuse assault with a
dangerous weapon and child endangerment. Brian then filed a
motion for new trial. In a hearing on the motion, Brian
testified about the claimed bias of Juror G. Juror G is
married to Brian's ex-girlfriend. Brian dated the
ex-girlfriend for over four years, with their most recent
date in 1998. Brian testified the ex-girlfriend still wanted
to "get back with" him even after they broke up and
after she married Juror G. Once, the ex-girlfriend entered
Brian's apartment and asked to reunite with him, and she
only left when Juror G arrived and yelled for her to come
outside. Most recently, in 2009, Brian testified Juror G told
a friend he wanted to fight Brian after Brian moved into a
home one block away from Juror G. Although voir dire was not
reported, Brian later testified that Juror G said he had no
feelings toward Brian and he could be a fair and impartial
juror. Brian disputed the truthfulness of both of these
statements. During jury selection, Brian told his counsel to
use his final peremptory strike on Juror G, but his counsel
struck a different prospective juror. Brian changed counsel
between the trial and the post-trial hearing, and his voir
dire counsel did not participate in the post-trial hearing.
court denied the motion for new trial and entered judgment on
both counts. Brian appeals.
Scope and Standard of Review
review ineffective-assistance-of-counsel claims de novo.
State v. Maxwell, 743 N.W.2d 185, 195 (Iowa 2008)
(citing State v. Nitcher, 720 N.W.2d 547, 553 (Iowa
2006)). We review the underlying claims about admission of
evidence for abuse of discretion. State v. Brown,
569 N.W.2d 113, 116 (Iowa 1997) (citing State v.
Plaster, 424 N.W.2d 226, 229 (Iowa 1988)). We review a
motion for new trial based on the weight of the evidence for
abuse of discretion. State v. Ary, 877 N.W.2d 686,
706 (Iowa 2016) (citing State v. Shanahan, 712
N.W.2d 121, 135 (Iowa 2006). We review the admissibility of a
witness's prior crimes for abuse of discretion. State
v. Redmond, 803 N.W.2d 112, 117 (Iowa 2011) (citing
State v. Parker, 747 N.W.2d 196, 203 (Iowa 2008)).
Finally, we review a motion for new trial due to juror bias
for abuse of discretion. State v. Webster, 865
N.W.2d 223, 231 (Iowa 2015) (citations omitted).
Relevancy and Prejudice of the Text Messages
argues his counsel was ineffective for failing to object to
the text messages he sent to Amanda on the night of August
12, 2016. He claims the text messages ...