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State v. Robinson

Court of Appeals of Iowa

January 23, 2019

STATE OF IOWA, Plaintiff-Appellee,
v.
TYKEL DUPREE ROBINSON, Defendant-Appellant.

          Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Woodbury County, Jeffrey L. Poulson, Judge.

         The appellant appeals his conviction and sentence of robbery in the first degree.

          Priscilla E. Forsyth, Sioux City, and Zachary S. Hindman of Mayne, Hindman, & Daane (until withdrawal), Sioux City, for appellant.

          Thomas J. Miller, Attorney General, and Thomas E. Bakke, Assistant Attorney General, for appellee.

          Heard by Vogel, C.J., and Vaitheswaran and McDonald, JJ.

          VOGEL, CHIEF JUDGE.

         A jury found Tykel Robinson guilty of first-degree robbery. Robinson appeals his conviction and sentence. First, Robinson asserts he received ineffective assistance of counsel because his counsel failed to object to an incomplete jury instruction that did not provide for specific intent for an aider and abettor. Second, he argues the district court should have excluded evidence of a shooting where Robinson was not involved. Alternatively, he asserts his counsel was ineffective for failing to object to the use of evidence beyond what the ruling in limine allowed. We reverse and remand for a new trial, finding defense counsel breached an essential duty by failing to object to the faulty instruction and Robinson has established prejudice. In addition, we find failing to object to evidence that exceeded the ruling in limine was a breach of defense counsel's essential duty.

         I. Background Facts and Proceedings

         On February 10, 2017, around 10:00 p.m., three teenagers, N.W., G.B., and K.R., walked from N.W.'s house to a nearby Kum & Go to purchase snacks. N.W. purchased Flamin' Hot Cheetos, two bottles of Dr. Pepper, and Sour Patch Watermelon candy. Then the three left the Kum & Go and headed back to N.W.'s house. On the walk back, the group was approached by two individuals. One individual walked away, but the other, later identified as Darius Wright, approached N.W.

         Wright began to harass N.W. and asked him, "What do you got?" multiple times. Wright then grabbed N.W.'s sleeve and called for "Tykel." Someone, later identified as Robinson, started walking towards the group from down the block, arriving-according to N.W.- "right away." Wright started to swing his fists at N.W., while Robinson stood near G.B. and K.R. G.B. testified N.W. and Wright were behind him and Robinson was "in front or like to the side of [him] almost." G.B. testified he "stepped to intervene and help [N.W.] out"; however, Robinson blocked his path, asked G.B. "if [he] was wanting to jump in," and then forced him to back away. K.R. affirmed that "no one else [she or G.B.] got involved" to help N.W. after Robinson blocked G.B. K.R. testified Robinson "appeared to be helping Mr. Wright, . . . because [G.B.] was going to help [N.W.], and then every time [G.B.] would step forward, [Robinson] would step forward."

         N.W. testified Wright only "grazed" him. But after a few swings, Wright reached behind his body, pulled out a gun, aimed it at N.W.'s head, and said, "Give me what you got."[1] Scared, by the presence of the gun, N.W. pulled his phone out of his pocket and tossed it to Wright. N.W., G.B., and K.R. left the scene, leaving behind the bag of items purchased from Kum & Go. Robinson and Wright left the scene together.

         Once the three teenagers returned to N.W.'s home, they told N.W.'s older brother, Alan Rave, about the incident. Rave grabbed a BB gun, N.W. grabbed two knives, and the four went to search for Wright and Robinson. While walking, N.W. testified he heard someone yell, "Hey, you" from a nearby home and believed it was Wright. N.W. and Rave approached the home and began to argue with Wright about N.W.'s phone. Wright eventually returned N.W.'s now-broken phone to N.W. The argument continued, and N.W. testified Wright knocked on the door and four or five individuals emerged and joined Wright. Rave and N.W. ran towards Kum & Go, while Wright and his friends chased them, yelling "fight me" and trying to take a "swing on" N.W. Eventually, Rave and N.W. entered the Kum & Go and asked the store clerk for help. The clerk testified Rave and N.W. ran into the store yelling, "We're being robbed," and the clerk left his station to help protect them as three pursuers entered the store. N.W. testified Robinson was one of the individuals that entered the store. The store clerk called the police after the pursuers left.

         Shortly thereafter, the police arrived at the Kum & Go. While investigating the incident, a shooting victim, Angel Castillo-Martinez, approached the officers. Police quickly responded to the shooting scene and found shell casings at the home where Wright had previously confronted N.W. and Rave. Later, the police determined Wright had shot Castillo-Martinez.[2] A search warrant on the home was executed and a Kum & Go sack with a package of Sour Patch Watermelons inside was found in a bedroom. A bag of Flamin' Hot Cheetos and a bottle of Dr. Pepper were found in the kitchen.

         Robinson was charged with robbery in the first degree on February 20, 2017. After trial, the jury returned a verdict finding Robinson guilty of first-degree robbery under Iowa Code sections 711.1, 711.2, and 703.1 (2017). Robinson was sentenced to an indeterminate term of incarceration not to exceed twenty-five years.[3] He appeals.

         II. Standard of Review

         We review ineffective-assistance-of-counsel claims de novo. State v. Schlitter, 881 N.W.2d 380, 388 (Iowa 2016). "Ordinarily, ineffective assistance of counsel claims are best resolved by postconviction proceedings to enable a complete record to be developed and afford trial counsel an opportunity to respond to the claim. Yet, in some instances, the appellate record can be ...


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