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State v. Anderson

Court of Appeals of Iowa

August 1, 2018

STATE OF IOWA, Plaintiff-Appellee,
v.
LEON CHEVELLE ANDERSON, Defendant-Appellant.

          Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Buchanan County, Bradley J. Harris, Judge.

         A defendant appeals from a conviction for second-degree burglary. AFFIRMED.

          Mark C. Smith, State Appellate Defender, and Theresa R. Wilson, Assistant Appellate Defender, for appellant.

          Thomas J. Miller, Attorney General, and Thomas J. Ogden, Assistant Attorney General, for appellee.

          Considered by Potterfield, P.J., and Bower and McDonald, JJ.

          POTTERFIELD, PRESIDING JUDGE.

         Leon Anderson appeals from his conviction of second-degree burglary, claiming there is insufficient evidence to show he entered an occupied structure without right, license, or privilege to enter. Because substantial evidence supports the conviction, we affirm.

         I. Background Facts and Proceedings.

         In December 2016, James Johnson and Stephanie Hubbell moved into an apartment in which Ashley Musick also resided. Anderson lived in a separate building within the same apartment complex. Anderson had Musick's permission to enter her apartment when no one was present to clean and take care of Musick's dog. Anderson was a frequent visitor to Musick's apartment, and Johnson had allowed Anderson inside the apartment on at least one occasion when Musick was not home.

         Early in January 2017, Anderson offered his own apartment as a place for Johnson and Hubbell to stay because Musick's apartment was overcrowded. Johnson and Hubbell stayed several nights at Anderson's apartment before returning to Musick's apartment on January 12, 2017. Johnson and Hubbell decided to return to Musick's apartment after Hubbell accused Anderson of trying to kiss her and Johnson discovered Anderson was a registered sex offender. Johnson went to Anderson's apartment to tell him why he and Hubbell had decided not to return to his apartment and to retrieve clothing they left behind when they had moved back to Musick's apartment. At the news, Anderson became angry and demanded to speak to Hubbell. Johnson returned to Musick's apartment to talk with Hubbell.

         Later the same day, from inside Musick's apartment, Johnson saw Anderson angrily walking from his apartment building towards Musick's. Johnson went to the front door of Musick's apartment and, from inside the apartment without opening the door, told Anderson to go back to his apartment. While talking to Anderson, Johnson placed his foot against the bottom of the front door in an effort to keep the door closed because the lock was broken. Despite Johnson's attempts to keep the door closed, Anderson forced his way into the apartment to confront Hubbell. Johnson placed himself in front of Anderson to keep him from approaching Hubbell. Anderson grabbed Johnson by the neck and held a pocket knife against his side, threatening to "cut [Johnson] open." After several more threats, Anderson released his hold on Johnson and left Musick's apartment.

         Anderson waived his right to a jury; after a bench trial, the court found him guilty of second-degree burglary. Anderson appeals.

         II. Standard of Review.

         We review challenges to the sufficiency of the evidence for correction of errors at law. State v. Tipton, 897 N.W.2d 653, 692 (Iowa 2017). A verdict of guilty will be upheld if it is supported by substantial evidence. Id. Substantial evidence exists when a rational trier of fact would be convinced the defendant is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. Id. To determine whether ...


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