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State v. Scott

Court of Appeals of Iowa

June 6, 2018

STATE OF IOWA, Plaintiff-Appellee,
v.
JAMES TYREE SCOTT, Defendant-Appellant.

          Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Black Hawk County, Linda Fangman, Judge.

         James Scott appeals his forgery conviction. REVERSED AND REMANDED.

          Alexander Smith of Parrish Kruidenier Dunn Boles Gribble Gentry Brown & Bergmann L.L.P., Des Moines, for appellant.

          Thomas J. Miller, Attorney General, and Martha E. Trout, Assistant Attorney General, for appellee.

          Considered by Vogel, P.J., and Doyle and Bower, JJ.

          DOYLE, Judge.

         James Scott appeals after a jury convicted him of one count of forgery. His conviction stems from his attempt to purchase a cell phone with a document made to appear-at a glance-like a $100 bill. However, just to the right of the likeness of Benjamin Franklin on the bill's front, it states in large font: "FOR MOTION PICTURE USE ONLY." Beneath that, in small font, it states: "THIS NOTE IS NOT LEGAL. IT IS TO BE USED FOR MOTION PICTURES." The "FOR MOTION PICTURE USE ONLY" caution is repeated in small font both below the numeral "100" in the front left corner and again in a banner affixed to the bottom of the Benjamin Franklin rendering. Across the top of the back of the bill, it states, "MOTION PICTURE USE ONLY, " in large font. The clerk immediately rejected the paper as not being real money.

         The jury was instructed that in order to find Scott guilty of forgery, the State was required to prove the following:

1. On or about the 15th day of April, 2016, [Scott] uttered or possessed a writing.
2. [Scott] knew the writing had been made so it would appear to be the act of one who did not authorize the act.
3. [Scott] specifically intended to defraud or injure the New Star Liquor . . . .
4. The writing is or purports to be money.

See Iowa Code § 715A.2(1)(b), (2)(a)(1). Scott challenges the sufficiency of the evidence supporting his conviction.

         We review challenges to the sufficiency of the evidence for correction of errors at law. See State v. Leckington, 713 N.W.2d 208, 212-13 (Iowa 2006). The jury's verdict is binding if supported by substantial evidence. See id. at 213. Evidence is substantial if it could convince a rational trier of fact that the defendant is guilty beyond a ...


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