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State v. Dukes

Court of Appeals of Iowa

June 6, 2018

STATE OF IOWA, Plaintiff-Appellee,
v.
JEREMY SHAQUAN DUKES, Defendant-Appellant.

          Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Dubuque County, Thomas A. Bitter, Judge.

          Defendant appeals his conviction for conspiracy to commit a forcible felony (second-degree robbery). AFFIRMED.

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

          Thomas J. Miller, Attorney General, and Louis S. Sloven, Assistant Attorney General, for appellee.

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

          BOWER, JUDGE.

         Jeremy 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.

         I. Background Facts & Proceedings

         On 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.

         Campbell, 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.[1] The group then returned to the apartment.

         Dukes 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.

         Back at 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.

         Stotlar 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.

         Dukes 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.[2]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.

         II. Sufficiency of the Evidence

         On 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 615. ...


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