from the Iowa District Court for Tama County, Mary E.
defendant appeals his conviction for aiding and abetting
first-degree murder. AFFIRMED.
J. Goldensoph, Cedar Rapids, for appellant.
J. Miller, Attorney General, and Darrel L. Mullins and Laura
Roan, Assistant Attorneys General, for appellee.
by Danilson, C.J., and Potterfield and Mullins, JJ.
Jefferson appeals his conviction of aiding and abetting
first-degree murder in violation of Iowa Code section 707.2
(2013). He argues there is insufficient evidence to support
his conviction and his trial counsel was ineffective in a
number of respects.
Background Facts and Proceedings
Dustin was convicted of aiding and
abetting his mother, Ginger Jefferson, in the stabbing death
of his wife, Kerry Jefferson. Dustin and Kerry had a volatile
marriage and lived separately. Dustin lived at his cousin
Carlos's house, but Kerry often spent time with him
there. Kerry fearfully told a friend shortly before her death
that Dustin might hurt or kill her. The next day, however,
she did not want to talk about it.
and Dustin spent the night together at Carlos's house on
September 24, 2013. The next day, September 25, Ginger and
her daughter Sahara, Dustin's sister, arrived at the
house before 10:00 a.m. Ginger, Sahara, and Dustin began to
drink alcohol together. Around 11:00 a.m., Kerry left the
house. A liquor store clerk testified that between 11:00 and
11:30 a.m., Kerry arrived at the store and purchased a bottle
of whiskey. The store clerk testified she knew Kerry and had
a chance to observe her face during the sale; she did not
notice any bruises or injury to her body or face, and
testified "she looked-she actually looked really good
mother testified that between 11:00 and 11:30 a.m., Kerry
came to visit her for approximately an hour. Kerry was in a
good mood and was excited that she was going to have a job
interview for a new CNA job the next day. Her mother
testified concerning how Kerry looked that day:
Q. When you saw your daughter Kerry on the 25th of September
of 2013, did she have any bruises or injuries or any
indication that she'd been in any sort of physical
Q. She looked fine?
A. She looked fine.
then returned to Carlos's house.
to Dustin's police interview given later that day,
Dustin, Sahara, and Ginger were going to go for a drive and
asked Kerry if she wanted to come. Dustin told police:
And I'm driving. And I'm drunk, so she's all,
she's already drunk and she's already mad because
I'm driving and she knows I got a warrant, so that's
her main thing. Well, I'm calling the cops so you
don't drive. You got a warrant. . . . I was like well,
we're gonna go for a drive, you wanna go? She said no,
I'm not gonna go. And I was like all right, well,
we're gonna go for a cruise, and she said well, I'm
calling the fuckin' cops because you're driving.
before 1:00 p.m., Dustin, Ginger, and Sahara left in
Sahara's car, with Dustin driving.
Between 1:00 and 2:40 p.m., Kerry's phone was used to
place several phone calls to Dustin and several phone calls
to the Meskwaki Nation Police Department. Kerry called the
police department at 1:22 p.m. and had a conversation with
Officer Joe Hols about an outstanding arrest warrant for
Dustin, and possible locations where Dustin could be found.
There were then three calls to Dustin's phone-1:56 p.m.
for one minute and seven seconds; 2:02 p.m. for twenty-two
seconds; and 2:11 p.m. for eighteen seconds.
p.m., Kerry called the police department a second time and
requested the administrative assistant to connect her to
Officer Hols. Officer Hols was unavailable and Kerry was
transferred to Detective Craig Karr. This second call to the
police department lasted seven minutes and six seconds. At
2:22 p.m., Kerry called Dustin in a call lasting sixteen
seconds. Also at 2:22 p.m., Kerry called the police
department for one minute and twenty-three seconds. She
requested to speak to Detective Karr, was put on hold, and
then disconnected. At 2:24 p.m., Kerry phoned Dustin in a
call lasting fifty-five seconds.
p.m., Kerry called the police department, apparently
inadvertently, for fifty-six seconds, then four and seven
seconds. In the first, longest call, the administrative
assistant at the police department recognized the voice of
Kerry arguing with two other people she said sounded like
females. The assistant heard Kerry yelling that the other two
were going to jail for what they had done and heard what she
identified as two female voices also yelling in response, but
she was unable to understand what they were saying.
Eventually, Kerry realized that someone on her phone was
trying to get her attention, and she identified herself and
apologized for the "ass dial."
p.m., approximately one minute after her inadvertent calls to
the police department, Kerry called the police department
again and spoke to Detective Karr in a call lasting two
minutes and twenty seconds. Detective Karr testified Kerry
asked him if he had arrested Dustin yet. When Detective Karr
replied he had not, she told him to get to 104 Harmon
Street-Carlos's house- because Dustin was there and
"won't be here long."
to Dustin's statement to law enforcement, he and Ginger
returned to Carlos's house. Sahara was no longer with
them; she testified that during the drive Dustin stopped the
car and she got out to go to the bathroom outdoors and did
not get back in the vehicle. A police officer later saw
Sahara walking on the highway at 2:37 p.m. and transported
her to the Grinnell Medical Center for treatment for
to Dustin's statement to police the following day, he and
Ginger got out of the car at Carlos's house, Dustin went
to the bathroom outside, and then he sat down in a chair in
front of the garage with another beer. Ginger went inside to
use the bathroom. Dustin said Kerry stuck her head out the
door and told him the police were coming. Minutes later,
Ginger emerged from the back of the house with her hands
bloody, told Dustin she had "hurt Kerry," and took
off running. Dustin stated he was "in shock" and
got in his car and drove around the block looking for Ginger.
went to Amber Navarro's home, approximately one block
from Carlos's house. Amber is the girlfriend of Daniel,
who is Ginger's nephew and Dustin's cousin. Ginger
was upset, intoxicated, and had blood on her hands. Because
Amber's children were present, Amber assisted Ginger in
washing her hands so the children would not see the blood and
be frightened. At some point, Ginger fell and Amber helped
her up. During her direct examination by the State, Amber
Q. What else did Ginger Jefferson say regarding stabbing her
A. She said that her and Kerry got into it and she accused
her sleeping-her and Dustin sleeping together on a gravel
Q. That Kerry was?
A. Kerry was accusing Dustin and Ginger of sleeping together
on a gravel road.
Q. And did Ginger explain how she stabbed or came to stab her
A. No, she just said they got into it and she stabbed her
twice in the neck.
Q. What did she say about a knife being brought out?
A. She said that they were playing around with a knife.
Q. Did she explain at all how she happened to take the knife?
Q. Did she explain who they was?
testified Ginger believed Kerry was dead. Ginger asked Amber
to call Laurie Davenport, a daughter-in-law to Ginger, and
both Amber and Laurie recall Ginger stating, "I stabbed