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State v. West

Court of Appeals of Iowa

October 10, 2018

STATE OF IOWA, Plaintiff-Appellee,
v.
TRAVIS RAYMOND WAYNE WEST, Defendant-Appellant.

          Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Polk County, Robert J. Blink, Judge.

         The defendant appeals his convictions for involuntary manslaughter and delivery of a controlled substance. AFFIRMED.

          Mark C. Smith, State Appellate Defender, and Nan Jennisch, Assistant Appellate Defender, for appellant.

          Thomas J. Miller, Attorney General, and Darrel L. Mullins, Assistant Attorney General, for appellee.

          Heard by Vaitheswaran, P.J., and Doyle and Mullins, JJ.

          VAITHESWARAN, PRESIDING JUDGE.

         Travis West and his brother visited a friend at her West Des Moines apartment. Early in the morning, they found the friend unresponsive in the bathroom. West called 911. The woman was transported to the hospital, where she died the same morning. Autopsy results confirmed the presence of lethal amounts of heroin in her system.

         The State charged West with involuntary manslaughter and delivery of a controlled substance. A jury found him guilty as charged.

         On appeal, West argues (1) the evidence was insufficient to support the findings of guilt, (2) the district court erred in admitting certain "bad acts" evidence, and (3) the district court erred by failing to merge West's convictions at sentencing.

         I. Sufficiency of the Evidence

         The jury was instructed that the State would have to prove the following elements of involuntary manslaughter:

1. On or about June 5, 2015, the defendant recklessly committed the crime of delivery of a controlled substance.
2. When the defendant committed the crime, the defendant unintentionally caused the death of [a woman].

         The jury also was instructed the State would have to prove the following elements of delivery of a controlled substance:

1. On or about June 5, 2015, the defendant delivered a ...

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