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Andrews v. State

Court of Appeals of Iowa

June 6, 2018

RENARD E. ANDREWS, Applicant-Appellant,
v.
STATE OF IOWA, Respondent-Appellee.

          Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Polk County, Bradley M. McCall, Judge.

         Applicant challenges the dismissal of his application for postconviction relief. AFFIRMED.

          Susan R. Stockdale, Windsor Heights, for appellant.

          Thomas J. Miller, Attorney General, and Kevin R. Cmelik, Assistant Attorney General, for appellee State.

          Considered by Danilson, C.J., and Mullins and McDonald, JJ.

          MCDONALD, Judge.

         Renard Andrews was convicted of murder in the first degree, in violation of Iowa Code section 707.2 (2009), and sentenced to imprisonment for life without the possibility of parole. This court affirmed his conviction on direct appeal. See State v. Andrews, No. 11-1672, 2012 WL 4513901, at *1 (Iowa Ct. App. Oct. 3, 2012). Andrews now appeals the denial of his application for postconviction relief.

         I. The facts and circumstances of the offense were set forth in our prior opinion:

LeCarlton Henderson was murdered in the early hours of November 18, 2010. From the evidence presented at trial, the jury could have reasonably found the following facts.
On the evening of November 17, 2010, Andrews, who uses a wheelchair, was at his girlfriend's house with Olando "Maf Hawthorne playing video games. Henderson stopped by and picked Andrews and Hawthorne up to go to a club. On their way, Henderson stopped at his girlfriend's place of work so she and Henderson could swap vehicles. Henderson, Hawthorne, and Andrews then proceeded to a bar in Henderson's girlfriend's black SUV.
Henderson called his girlfriend around 2:00 a.m. to let her know he was on his way home. However, Andrews had Henderson drive them to an apartment parking lot. There, Andrews shot Henderson once in the mouth and once in the head. A couple in the apartment complex heard a loud noise from the parking lot around 2:45 a.m. The wife looked out the window and saw one person pushing a man in a wheelchair.
Hawthorne pushed Andrews to a nearby grocery store. Andrews called his girlfriend at 3:15 a.m. to pick them up, telling her that Henderson had left with some women and he and Hawthorne needed ride. She then picked the pair up.
Henderson's body was discovered later that morning in his girlfriend's black SUV in the apartment's parking lot. Henderson's girlfriend heard a report that a body had been found in an SUV, and she called Andrews to find out if he knew where Henderson was. Andrews told her Henderson had dropped him off at home the prior night and that was the last time he saw Henderson. Andrews talked to Henderson's girlfriend a few more times that morning, telling her he had warned Henderson about "messing with all those hoes" and trying to find out what she had learned about the police investigation.
Andrews was ultimately charged with murdering Henderson, and he was arrested and placed in the Polk County Jail. Already residing there on felony charges was Derek Hoover, a friend of both Andrews and Hawthorne. Andrews told Hoover all about the murder, including that used his "40" to murder Henderson. Andrews told Hoover that Hawthorne was supposed to get rid of the gun but had poorly hidden it behind Andrews's girlfriend's garage to set Andrews up. Andrews told Hoover he had shot Henderson because Henderson had stolen from him. Hoover ultimately told the police what Andrews had told him in hopes of receiving a more favorable deal. The police found the gun where Hoover told them Andrews had told him-behind Andrews's girlfriend's garage. Blood stains matching the known DNA profile of Henderson were found on Andrews's jacket.
A jury trial was held in September 2011, and Andrews took the stand in his defense. He testified that Hawthorne had his gun, and it was Hawthorne who shot Henderson. He stated Hawthorne told Henderson to pull into a parking lot and argued about money owed from a drug transaction. Andrews testified that he had just completed a phone call and was looking through his phone when Hawthorne shot Henderson twice. He stated he lied to ...

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