from the Iowa District Court for Dubuque County, Thomas A.
Hall appeals his convictions of first-degree murder and
first-degree robbery following a jury trial.
C. Smith, State Appellate Defender, and Shellie L. Knipfer,
Assistant Appellate Defender, for appellant.
J. Miller, Attorney General, and Kyle P. Hanson, Assistant
Attorney General, for appellee.
by Vaitheswaran, P.J., and Doyle and Mullins, JJ.
early morning hours of April 2, 2016, Tacari Minifee shot and
killed Collin Brown. Defendant Imere Hall was at the scene of
the crime. Following a jury trial, Hall was found guilty of
first-degree murder and first-degree robbery by way of aiding
and abetting Minifee. Hall appeals,  first arguing, as he did at
trial, that a break in the action, along with his conduct,
evidences he withdrew from the scene and was no longer aiding
and abetting Minifee when Minifee killed Brown. He also
challenges the constitutionality of his sentence, arguing
life without parole for a person who commits a crime at just
over the age of eighteen is cruel and unusual punishment and
violates equal protection of the laws. Finally, Hall sets out
four pro se statements alleging errors without further
discussion. Upon our review, we affirm.
Background Facts and Proceedings.
testified at his trial. There, he told the jury the following
transpired the night Collin Brown was murdered.
late night hours of April 1, 2016, Hall, then eighteen years
old, went with Tacari Minifee and Eric Campbell to buy
marijuana from Collin Brown. Minifee and Campbell were
members of the Dead Money gang, of which Hall was not a
member. Hall's friend, Taylor Shaw, drove Hall, Minifee,
and Campbell to Brown's neighborhood, but they were
unsure of where Brown's home was located. The group then
went to a McDonald's restaraunt and ate, and Minifee
called someone that knew where Brown lived. A car, driven by
Savanna Stotlar, arrived at McDonald's, and Shaw, with
Hall, Minifee, and Campbell as passengers, followed
Stotlar's car to Brown's home in the early morning
hours of April 2. Shaw parked the car a distance from
walked up to Brown's door with Minifee and Campbell.
Campbell kicked in Brown's door and pulled out a gun.
Minifee also had a gun. Hall proceeded inside with Minifee
and his girlfriend, Alecea Lombardi, were inside the home
when the three men entered. Minifee and Campbell sought out
Brown, and Hall went to Lombardi, who was upset. Hall knew
Lombardi and was attempting to calm her when Campbell came to
them, pointed his gun at Lombardi, and demanded money.
Lombardi grabbed her purse from the couch and gave it to
Campbell. Meanwhile, Brown jumped out the window and Minifee
fled Brown's home with Campbell, running for the getaway
car. While running, Hall saw Brown and someone pursuing Brown
but continued to Shaw's car. Then Hall heard two
gunshots. Hall got to Shaw's car and told her to go.
Minifee then got in Shaw's car, and they drove way.
next morning, Shaw, Minifee, and Hall were found at
Shaw's home and taken in by the police for questioning.
Hall admitted he was untruthful with law enforcement officers
concerning his connection to the previous night's
activities. Hall explained he was afraid both he and Shaw
were in danger because they knew Minifee, a gang member, had
also testified and gave a different account. Lombardi
testified that after the door was kicked in, three men burst
in; one tall, one medium height, and one short. All were
wearing dark clothing, had bandanas covering their faces, and
hoods over their heads. All had guns. The shorter man came
over to her while the other two men beat up Brown. The man
who came to her "kept telling [her] that [her and her]
kids were going to be okay." She said this person held a
gun to her head.
testified the tall man came over to her and demanded money,
so she got up and got her purse from the couch. She took out
her wallet to remove the cash, and the man just took her
wallet. Lombardi heard Brown say, in a kind of disguised
voice, "Police 9-1-1," and everyone just left.
Lombardi ran to check on her children, and then she heard
gunshots. She then called 9-1-1.
driver of the getaway car, testified Campbell gave her
directions to Brown's home but could not find it. The
group went to McDonald's and someone was called to assist
them in locating Brown's home. Stotlar arrived at the
McDonald's, and Shaw followed Stotlar's car to
Brown's home. When they got to Brown's home, Stotlar
tapped her brake lights to signal they were at the right
place. Shaw parked the car some distance from the home. Hall,
Minifee, and Campbell then got out of the car and walked
toward Brown's home. Shaw turned the car around, switched
the lights off, but kept the motor running. After a couple of
minutes, Campbell got in the car, and Hall followed as
gunshots went off. Shaw started to drive off but waited for
Minifee. Once Minifee got in the car, Shaw drove fast from
the jury found Hall guilty of first-degree murder and robbery
for aiding and abetting Minifee.
appeals, arguing he did not aid and abet Minifee because he
withdrew his participation in the crime when he fled
Brown's home; consequently, the district court should
have granted his motion for judgment of acquittal. He also
challenges the constitutionality of a life-without-parole
sentence for an eighteen-year-old criminal's conviction.
Finally, he raises some issues pro se.