from the Iowa District Court for Polk County, Karen A.
defendant appeals from her conviction for burglary in the
first degree. AFFIRMED.
Christopher R. Kemp of Kemp & Sease, Des Moines, for
J. Miller, Attorney General, and Tyler J. Buller, Assistant
Attorney General, for appellee.
Considered by Potterfield, P.J., Doyle, J., and Danilson,
POTTERFIELD, PRESIDING JUDGE.
Inman appeals from her conviction for burglary in the first
degree. She maintains there is insufficient evidence to
support her conviction, arguing there was not substantial
evidence to support the jury's finding (1) she had the
intent to commit an assault or theft at the time she entered
the occupied structure or (2) she inflicted bodily injury
while "in or upon" the occupied structure.
Background Facts and Proceedings.
Cirligel is a Des Moines homeowner whose home was badly
damaged in a fire. Cirligel and his family moved out of the
home but left their possessions behind. Cirligel intended to
repair the home and, ultimately, to move back. In April 2017,
Cirligel noticed that his garage-where many of the
family's valuables were being stored-was being broken
into and items were being stolen. Local police were unable to
assist Cirligel, so he decided he would spend some nights in
the home in an attempt to catch any perpetrators in the act.
stayed in the basement of the split-level home on April 10;
he was armed with a handgun. He did not have a phone with
him, and the home did not have electricity.
to his testimony, Cirligel was waiting in one of the
downstairs bedrooms when he heard someone walking around on
the floor above him. He estimated it lasted for about five
minutes before the person opened the basement door. He did
not hear anyone speaking or calling out as they walked around
upstairs. When the door opened, he saw a woman-Inman-wearing
a "strong headlamp." Cirligel lifted the gun, and
Inman began saying repeatedly, "Don't shoot
me." Cirligel told the woman he was not going to shoot
her and asked what she was doing in his home. She responded
that she had a boyfriend with a gun who was out in the
backyard. Cirligel grabbed her by the arm with the intention
of removing her from the home. At one point in his testimony,
Cirligel stated, "[They] fought up on the stairs,"
but he also testified Inman did not struggle on the way
they got outside in the yard, Cirligel yelled for his
neighbor to call 911. Inman-in an apparent attempt to break
free from him-then began to fight with Cirligel. She used the
scarf he was wearing to choke him and pull him to the ground.
According to Cirligel, it was during the scuffle that he
fired the gun and shot Inman. Inman fled to a nearby
friend's home. Based on a separate 911 call, police and
medical personnel were directed to the apartment of
Inman's friend. They found Inman conscious and laying on
her stomach; she had been shot in her lower back. She was
transported to a local hospital, where she ultimately
underwent surgery for the injury.
Dao Meunsaveng spoke to Inman at the hospital. Inman told him
she had been out walking when she realized she was being
followed by someone-a person she thought was her former
boyfriend. She said he "gave her the look" so she
decided to flee. She told the officer she ran until she found
a house and then she jumped the fence and hid in the backyard
of the home. While she was there hiding, she was confronted
by a male. As she was climbing back over the fence to meet a
friend who was picking her up in a vehicle, she heard a pop
and felt a burning sensation.
Danny White spoke to Inman approximately ten days after the
incident. Inman told him she walking from a friend's
house to a local convenience store to buy cigarettes when she
noticed someone she believed to be her former boyfriend-who
had been abusive-following her. After some discussion, Inman
told Detective White that she was not sure the person had
been the former boyfriend; "she thought it could be him
in the way that he walked was like her ex-boyfriend but she
was not positive that it was" him. She indicated she
fled on foot and ultimately found a backyard with a shed that
she hid behind. While hiding behind the shed, she saw an open
window to the home and decided to enter. She climbed some
barrels to get to a second-story deck and then entered the
home through the window. Once she got inside, she walked
around the house knocking on interior doors "to see if
anybody is there" but also noted that the house appeared
to be burnt. She then went downstairs, where she encountered
Cirligel. According to Inman, she ...