from the Iowa District Court for Black Hawk County, Andrea J.
Buchanan appeals from his convictions for robbery in the
first degree, being a felon in possession of a firearm, and
C. Smith, State Appellate Defender, and Melinda J. Nye,
Assistant Appellate Defender, for appellant.
J. Miller, Attorney General, and Zachary C. Miller, Assistant
Attorney General, for appellee.
by Danilson, C.J., and Mullins and McDonald, JJ.
DANILSON, CHIEF JUDGE.
Buchanan appeals from his convictions for first-degree
robbery, in violation of Iowa Code section 711.2 (2016);
being a felon in possession of a firearm, in violation of
section 724.26(1); and carrying weapons, in violation of
section 724.4(1). Buchanan asserts the district court erred
in instructing the jury that a claim of right is not a
defense to theft because he did not raise the defense. In the
alternative, he maintains that if this court concludes the
claim-of-right defense was implicated, his trial counsel was
ineffective in failing to assert it affirmatively. Buchanan
also contends the court erred in denying Buchanan's
request to have three jurors removed for cause. Finally, he
claims the district court erred in allowing the State to play
the recordings of his jailhouse phone calls.
not convinced Buchanan has suffered any prejudice as a result
of the claim-of-right jury instruction. He cannot establish
his trial attorney breached an essential duty in failing to
raise a claim-of-right defense; this
ineffective-assistance-of-counsel claim thus fails. With
respect to Buchanan's juror challenge, Buchanan must show
that the result was a juror being seated who was not
impartial, which Buchanan has not attempted to do. Finally,
we find no prejudicial error in the admission of the recorded
jail phone calls. We therefore affirm his convictions.
Background Facts and Proceedings.
April 4, 2016, Isaiah Buchanan confronted Jose Galindo inside
J's R&B Lounge (hereinafter J's) in Waterloo.
Buchanan was carrying some sort of weapon, and when he left,
he had Galindo's coat. Buchanan was charged in four
counts: robbery in the first degree, going armed with intent,
being a felon in possession of a firearm, and carrying
jury selection, Buchanan moved to strike jurors 60, 7 and 92
for cause, and the district court denied Buchanan's
motions as to all three potential jurors. Buchanan utilized
peremptory strikes to remove jurors 60 and 7, but juror 92
remained on the panel and served as a juror in Buchanan's
opening argument, defense counsel stated the evidence would
Mr. Buchanan did ask Mr. Galindo for the money that he was
owed. The evidence will show that Mr. Galindo turned out his
pockets and said "I don't have any money but here,
you can have my coat." He offered his coat. Whether that
was security, collateral for what was still owed or whether
he thought that constituted some sort of partial payment, I
don't know. I don't know what his rationale was in
doing so. But what the evidence will show is that the coat
was not demanded from him. It was not taken from him. There
was no theft involved. This was Mr. Galindo's voluntary
act to try to buy himself more time on the debt that he owed.
The evidence will also show that Mr. Buchanan does have a
past. As [prosecutor] Mr. Walz indicated, there is a
stipulation. Mr. Buchanan will acknowledge that he has
previously been convicted of a felony. That's his past.
He has come to terms with that. He accepts that. He is not
hiding from that. He is not running from that. He
acknowledges it. But I believe that the evidence will also
show that that is not a violent past. That he does not have a
history of doing the kind of things that he has been accused
of here. And we intend to present witnesses including Mr.
Buchanan who will say as much.
trial, Galindo testified he had known Buchanan since they
were young. A few days before the interaction at J's,
Buchanan pulled up in a vehicle in front of Galindo's
house and Galindo saw Buchanan had a pistol in his lap,
either a .38 or nine millimeter. Galindo stated, "I just
told him to do what he had to do."
on April 4, Galindo was at J's with a friend, Rob, and
played a game of pool. Rob left and Galindo was sitting at
the end of the bar having some drinks and talking with the
owner of the establishment, Jay Wilder. Galindo saw Buchanan
enter J's and approach Galindo "waving a gun"
at him-the same gun Galindo had seen a few days earlier.
Galindo testified Buchanan pointed the gun at his face and
"said that he wanted the money from my pockets. I told
him no, and then he decided to take my jacket." Galindo
stated the whole interaction lasted "a minute or
less." Galindo stated he feared Buchanan was going to
shoot him. Galindo testified he did not owe Buchanan money
and had never borrowed money from Buchanan.
cross-examination, Galindo acknowledged he did not tell
police Buchanan had a gun when he pulled his car up to the
residence. Galindo also testified as follows:
Q. Is there another incident that occurred around that time
where you claim that Mr. Buchanan came up to your truck with
a bat or something like that?
approached my truck.
Q. Were you in the truck?
A. Yes. I was in the truck.
Q. Why did he approach your truck?
A. I got waved down to stop so I stopped. I was with a friend
of mine. He was in the passenger side. And he came up to the
truck and started accusing me of something that I had no-no
idea what he was talking about, and we just took off.
Q. So it had nothing to do with you owing Mr. Buchanan money?
A. No, sir.
Q. Was there an incident around that time where you went to a
person's house to obtain some marijuana, and you saw Mr.
Buchanan at that house?
A. No, sir.
Q. Was there a time that you went to someone's-around
this time, around the April 4th time, that you went to
someone's house to get a movie and saw Mr. Buchanan?
A. I can't recollect that, sir.
Q. Was there a time around this April 4th date that you
actually sat down with Mr. Buchanan and smoked marijuana with
A. Years ago.
Q. You said that you don't recall the incident where you
went over to the friend's house to go get movies; is that
A. That's correct, sir.
Q. You do recall though getting your deposition taken here at
the courthouse on December 2, 2016?
A. Yes, I remember that, sir.
Q. So when you went to that friend's house to get a
movie, was Mr. Buchanan there?
A. He showed up after I did.
Q. Mr. Buchanan, did he in any way demand money or that he be
repaid for a debt?
A. He demanded money, but I did not owe him any money, and I
told him I don't know what he was talking about.
Q. So you don't know anything about this debt that Mr.
Buchanan claims that you owe?
A. This debt-he wants-he wants to collect a debt from me that
is not even about me. I don't even know about the debt
that he wants-he wants to collect something that I have
nothing to do with.
Q. So you do know something about this debt?
A. Well, it was brought to my attention.
described that at about 7:30 p.m. on April 4, he was talking
to Galindo at the end of the bar at J's when he saw
Buchanan, who "had a gun" that looked like a nine
millimeter. Wilder owned a nine millimeter so he was familiar
with its appearance. He stated he also knew what a Taser
looked like, and Buchanan was not holding a Taser. Wilder
said he could not understand what Buchanan was saying to
Galindo because the music was loud, but he heard Galindo say,
"I don't have anything." Buchanan then searched
Galindo's pockets while holding the gun against
Galindo's stomach. Galindo then said to Buchanan,
"You can have my coat." Wilder told Buchanan to
"[g]et that thing out of here," and Buchanan left,
"apologiz[ing] to Mr. Jay . . . [he] didn't mean no
disrespect." Wilder called the police when Buchanan
arrived and were talking with Wilder when Buchanan called
J's to ask if the police were there. Wilder said they
were, and gave the phone to an officer, but Buchanan hung up.
Investigator Brice Lippert retrieved the phone number from
Wilder's call history, and phone records confirmed it was
Buchanan's phone number. Lippert attempted to telephone
Buchanan several times. Buchanan insisted he had not been at
J's and had nothing to talk to the officer about. Cell
phone records indicate Buchanan traveled from Waterloo to
Tennessee in the next several hours.
bartender, Tina Ackerson, testified she saw Buchanan enter
the bar "like he was agitated," approach Galindo,
say something like "[j]ust give it up," and
"finally he demanded [Galindo's] jacket and just
pulled it off of him." She stated she saw Buchanan with
a gun in his hand, "swinging it back and forth" but
not pointing it at anyone. Ackerson described the gun as a
nine millimeter semiautomatic. ...