from the Iowa District Court for Lee (South) County, Michael
J. Schilling, Judge.
defendant appeals from his conviction of intimidation with a
dangerous weapon with intent.
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.
Considered by Potterfield, P.J., and Bower and McDonald, JJ.
POTTERFIELD, PRESIDING JUDGE.
Riddle appeals from his conviction after a jury verdict of
intimidation with a dangerous weapon with intent, a class
"C" felony. He contends the district court abused
its discretion when it allowed into evidence a recording of a
jailhouse phone call of Riddle calling the State's main
witness. Additionally, Riddle claims he was denied effective
assistance because his trial counsel did not object to the
prosecutor's inflammatory statements, which amounted to
prosecutorial error, during closing arguments.
Background Facts and Proceedings.
2017, Riddle was charged by trial information with
intimidation with a dangerous weapon with intent, in
violation of Iowa Code section 708.6 (2017). It was alleged
Riddle had, "with the intent to injure or provoke fear
in another, shot or discharge[d] a dangerous weapon at or
into a vehicle occupied by another person."
trial took place in August. At it, the complaining witness,
who was the on-again, off-again girlfriend of Riddle for the
previous twenty years, testified that in the early morning
hours of Wednesday, May 17, she was driving her father's
car around town because she was bored. As she got near a
specific intersection, she noticed Riddle standing under a
streetlight, wearing a shirt she had bought him. She
testified at that point in their relationship, they
"were fighting. [They] had been fighting a lot."
Because he looked angry when she saw him, she wanted to leave
without talking to him. She testified he started coming
toward her vehicle, so she put it in reverse and began to
drive away. At about the same time, Riddle "pulled the
gun out and started shooting towards the car." Then,
while still driving away from Riddle, she heard a hissing
noise. As she continued to drive away, the witness called the
police and reported the incident; during the call, she
identified Riddle as the shooter.
the drive, the witness realized that the front, driver-side
tire had gone flat. An officer responded at 2:58 a.m. The
police later inspected the tire: they found a hole in it and,
once they had removed it from the rim, pieces of shrapnel
loose inside the tire. Officers also later located a shell
casing in the general area the shooting had occurred
according to the description of the complaining witness.
witness testified she resumed her relationship with Riddle
after the incident and continued to have contact with him
while he was in jail for the offense. Without objection, the
following exchange occurred during direct examination of the
Q. Do you remember a telephone call that occurred where he
discussed that he was going to have a jury trial in this
Q. Did he encourage you to duck and dodge to avoid the
A. I think he had said something about it, yeah. I had told
him that I was going to try to keep low-I don't-
Q. Do you remember telling him you had your running shoes on
and they were laced up?
Q. What did you mean by that?
A. We were talking about ducking and dodging.
Q. The cops?
A. For the subpoena, ...