from the Iowa District Court for Scott County, Mary E. Howes,
appeals his convictions for first-degree murder and
C. Smith, State Appellate Defender, and Vidhya K. Reddy,
Assistant Appellate Defender, for appellant.
J. Miller, Attorney General, and Bridget A. Chambers,
Assistant Attorney General, for appellee.
by Vogel, P.J., and Doyle and Bower, JJ.
Carter appeals his convictions for first-degree murder and
first-degree burglary. We find the district court did not
abuse its discretion in denying Carter's motion for
mistrial. In addition, Carter has not shown he received
ineffective assistance of counsel. We affirm his convictions.
Background Facts & Proceedings
the evening on July 15, 2015, Claude Hanson, who was
sixty-two years old, was doing laundry at the apartment
complex where he lived. His apartment was near the laundry
room. When he returned to his apartment, someone threw
something over his head and attacked him with a knife,
stabbing him in the abdomen and causing defensive wounds on
his arm and hand. Claude was able to call 911 for assistance.
Police officers, paramedics, and fire fighters came to the
apartment. Claude was taken to the hospital. After treatment,
he informed officers about what happened. He never saw his
scene technicians took photographs of Claude's apartment.
They found a knife and wallet at the scene, which had blood
on them. Officers also took samples of blood found on the
door handle to the apartment. At Claude's request,
Bradley Hanson, Claude's brother, went to the apartment
accompanied by an officer to pick up some items for Claude.
Bradley moved some items in the apartment. After
Bradley's visit, officers found bloodstains on a grey
sweatshirt in the apartment. On July 21, 2015, Claude died of
complications from the stab wound to his abdomen.
Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation (DCI) performed DNA
analysis on several items obtained from Claude's
apartment. The analysis showed a DNA profile, identified as
male A, on Claude's wallet, the sweatshirt, and the door
handle. In October 2015, through a database, the profile of
male A matched that of Robert Carter. Officers obtained a new
DNA sample from Carter, which again matched the DNA evidence
on the items from Claude's apartment.
had been living with his girlfriend, Carmen Jackson, and her
mother a few doors down from Claude's apartment for about
two years. From the front window of Jackson's apartment,
a person could see the laundry room of the apartment complex.
When officers approached Carter, he had a scar near his
was charged with murder in the first degree, in violation of
Iowa Code section 707.2(2) (2015), a class "A"
felony, and burglary in the first degree, in violation of
section 713.3(2), a class "B" felony. During the
criminal trial, Officers William Thomas Jr. and Mark
Dinneweth both testified it was not uncommon for a suspect to
be cut when wielding a knife. Jackson testified Carter was in
the apartment sleeping at the time of the assault. The
district court denied Carter's motion for judgment of
acquittal. A jury found Carter guilty of first-degree murder
and first-degree burglary. Carter was sentenced to life in
prison and a term of imprisonment not to exceed twenty-five
years, to be served concurrently. Carter now appeals his