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State v. Reeves

Court of Appeals of Iowa

August 1, 2018

STATE OF IOWA, Plaintiff-Appellee,
v.
DESMOND D. REEVES, Defendant-Appellant.

          Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Jackson County, Thomas G. Reidel (trial) and Nancy S. Tabor (sentencing), Judges.

         Defendant appeals his convictions for robbery in the first degree and assault with intent to inflict serious injury. AFFIRMED.

          Matthew L. Noel of Noel Law Firm, Clinton, until withdrawal, then Mark C. Smith, Appellate Defender, and Shellie L. Knipfer, Assistant Appellate Defender, for appellant.

          Desmond D. Reeves, Anamosa, appellant pro se. Thomas J. Miller, Attorney General, and Timothy M. Hau, Assistant Attorney General, for appellee.

          Considered by Potterfield, P.J., and Bower and McDonald, JJ. Tabor, J., takes no part.

          BOWER, JUDGE.

         Desmond Reeves appeals his convictions for robbery in the first degree and assault with intent to inflict serious injury. We find substantial evidence supports the jury's verdict, including evidence of Reeves's intent to commit theft as an element of the offense of robbery. We conclude the district court did not abuse its discretion in concluding character evidence concerning a witness was not admissible because it was not relevant. We find Reeves's pro se claims were not preserved or not supported by argument in his brief. We affirm Reeves's convictions.

         I. Background Facts & Proceedings

         Brian Filloon lived in a nine by seven foot attachment to a trailer home in Maquoketa. Filloon's "self-adopted" family-Billy and Stacy Schick and their son, Dylan Schick-lived in the trailer. Filloon's room had a door to the outside and an opening into the trailer. Filloon owned a television and X-Box gaming system, and few other material possessions. He had two BB guns under his cot.

         On January 9, 2017, Filloon's friend, Kyle Kunde, came over at about 7:30 p.m. They smoked marijuana and played video games on the X-Box. At about 9:15 p.m., Filloon took a Valium pill someone had given him. Billy, Stacy, and Dylan were all in the trailer home at the time, as well as Dylan's friend, Damon McFarlane.

         Around 9:30 p.m., two men came into Filloon's room through the outside door. The first man, later identified as Charlie Potter, pointed a sawed-off shotgun at Filloon and Kunde and said, "Give me everything you have," and the second man, Reeves, repeated it. Filloon stated he thought it was a joke until Potter struck him in the face with his fist. Kunde was hit in the head with the shotgun. Filloon jumped up, grabbed the shotgun, and started to push Potter and Reeves out of the room. Reeves fired several shots at Filloon with a .22 caliber semi-automatic pistol. Outside the trailer, Filloon, Potter, and Reeves fell against a porch railing, which broke, and they fell on the ground, wrestling. Filloon stated Reeves said, "Move your sh*t. I'm going to shoot him in his head." Filloon let go of Potter, who ran away, leaving the sawed-off shotgun. Filloon and Reeves continued to wrestle and ended up in a cornfield. Eventually, Filloon realized he was injured and let go of Reeves, who also ran away, leaving his gun behind. Neither Filloon nor Kunde knew Reeves or Potter.

         Billy Schick and a neighbor, Tanna Estes, helped Filloon into the trailer. Estes called 911. Police officers quickly arrived at the scene. Filloon received medical assistance; he had been shot three times-in the torso, hip, and leg. Within a short time, an officer saw Reeves walking down a nearby street, where a Chevy Avalanche picked him up. The officer stopped the vehicle, which was driven by Andrew Combs. The Avalanche was registered to Potter.

         Reeves had injuries and initially said he had been in a MMA fight. Later, Reeves said he and his brother, Cal, had wrestled in a cornfield. Reeves had a lighter, an empty baggie, and maybe one coin on him. Officers took Reeves's clothing. DNA testing showed Filloon's blood was on Reeves's t-shirt and sweatshirt. In addition, shell casings from the scene matched Reeves's .22 caliber semi-automatic pistol. Officers searched Filloon's room and found an amount of marijuana consistent with personal use but no evidence of drug dealing.[1]

         Reeves was charged with robbery in the first degree and attempt to commit murder. He gave notice he intended to present a defense of self-defense. A jury trial commenced on April 3, 2017. The State presented evidence as outlined above. Reeves presented the testimony of Estes, who heard the porch rail break and then looked outside from her home next door. She observed much of the fight once Filloon, Potter, ...


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