from the Iowa District Court for Dubuque County, Thomas A.
Defendant appeals his conviction for conspiracy to commit a
forcible felony (second-degree robbery).
J. Dunn of Parrish Kruidenier Dunn Boles Gribble Gentry Brown
& Bergmann, L.L.P., Des Moines, for appellant.
J. Miller, Attorney General, and Louis S. Sloven, Assistant
Attorney General, for appellee.
Considered by Vogel, P.J., and Doyle and Bower, JJ.
Dukes appeals his conviction for conspiracy to commit a
forcible felony (second-degree robbery). We find there is
substantial evidence in the record to show Dukes entered into
an agreement with others to commit second-degree robbery and
he had the specific intent to promote or facilitate the
commission of second-degree robbery. We also find Dukes has
not shown he received ineffective assistance because defense
counsel failed to challenge the evidence as to whether all of
the other co-conspirators were proven not to be law
enforcement agents. We preserve for possible postconviction
proceedings the issue of whether defense counsel should have
given an opening statement. We affirm Dukes's conviction.
Background Facts & Proceedings
April 1, 2016, Dukes and his girlfriend, Adrianna Chica, were
staying at an apartment at 1506 Iowa Street in Dubuque with
Eric Campbell and Savanna Stotlar. Campbell stated he had
recently been robbed and needed "a quick come up, "
meaning a quick way to get money. He stated he wanted
"[t]o catch a lick, to catch a stain, " which meant
to commit a robbery. Dukes stated he would be on the lookout
for an opportunity.
Dukes, Tacari Minifee, and some other men went into the
bedroom of the apartment. As Dukes walked out of the room,
Stotlar overheard him say "he can run them out there to
do it, but he had to make some errands." When Dukes and
Chica returned to the apartment after their errands, they
picked up Campbell and Corby Yager, who directed them to the
Table Mound Trailer Park. Dukes remarked he knew someone who
lived there, Collin Brown. Yager stated Brown was the
intended target of the robbery. Chica testified Dukes stated,
"[W]e didn't want to be part of it because we knew
him." However, Chica showed Campbell and Yager where
Brown lived. The group then returned to the apartment.
and Chica left again later in the evening to go to Wal-Mart,
telling Campbell they would be back by around 12:15 a.m.
Chica testified, "we both felt pretty bad, but we knew
we couldn't do anything to stop them, and so he was like,
'I just got to get back and they just got to plan it
right.'" Dukes told Chica he wanted to get back to
the apartment to "make sure that they didn't rush it
or that they planned it" because he did not want Brown
to be harmed. Chica stated she and Dukes were supposed to be
the drivers for the robbery.
the apartment, Campbell, Minifee, and Imere Hall were
becoming agitated waiting for Dukes to get back. Hall stated
he could contact someone for a ride and they were picked up.
Dukes was very upset when he arrived a short time later and
found the other men had already left. He said, "Dang-it,
they were supposed to wait." Dukes called Minifee and
stated, "[W]hen I find another driver, I'll send
them out." Stotlar heard this conversation and said she
could drive out but did not know where she was going, so she
asked to have Chica accompany her. Dukes asked Chica "if
[she] was okay with it, " and she agreed to go with
Stotlar, who drove Chica's car.
and Chica met the other vehicle, driven by Taylor Shaw, at a
McDonalds. Campbell could not remember which trailer belonged
to Brown and needed Chica to point it out to him again.
Stotlar and Chica drove through the trailer park, flashing
their lights by Brown's trailer, then returned to the
apartment. Campbell, Minifee, and Hall broke into Brown's
trailer. They obtained eighty dollars and shot Brown, who
died as a result of his injuries. Brown's girlfriend,
Alecea Lombardi, who was present during the armed robbery,
called 911. Surveillance video showed Chica's vehicle and
the vehicle driven by Shaw in the trailer park prior to the
incident. Officers apprehended Dukes and Chica on the morning
of April 2 at the apartment.
was charged with conspiracy to commit a forcible felony, in
violation of Iowa Code section 706.3(1) (2016), a class
"C" felony, with the forcible felony specified as
second-degree robbery. Chica and Stotlar testified in
Dukes's trial.The jury found Dukes guilty of conspiracy
to commit robbery in the second degree. The district court
denied Dukes's motion for new trial and motion in arrest
of judgment. Dukes was sentenced to a term of imprisonment
not to exceed ten years. He appeals his conviction.
Sufficiency of the Evidence
claims concerning the sufficiency of the evidence, our review
is for the correction of errors at law. State v.
Sanford, 814 N.W.2d 611, 615 (Iowa 2012). In reviewing a
challenge to the sufficiency of evidence supporting a guilty
verdict, we consider all of the evidence in the record
"in the light most favorable to the State, including all
reasonable inferences that may be fairly drawn from the
evidence." State v. Keopasaeuth, 645 N.W.2d
637, 640 (Iowa 2002). A verdict will be upheld if there is
substantial evidence in the record to support it.
Sanford, 814 N.W.2d at 615. We will consider all the
evidence presented, not just the evidence supporting the
verdict. State v. Jacobs, 607 N.W.2d 679, 682 (Iowa
2000). "Evidence is considered substantial if, when
viewed in the light most favorable to the State, it can
convince a rational jury that the defendant is guilty beyond
a reasonable doubt." Sanford, 814 N.W.2d at