from the Iowa District Court for Woodbury County, Jeffrey L.
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,
J. Miller, Attorney General, and Thomas E. Bakke, Assistant
Attorney General, for appellee.
by Vogel, C.J., and Vaitheswaran and McDonald, JJ.
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.
Background Facts and Proceedings
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
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
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." 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.
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.
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. 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.
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. He appeals.
Standard of Review
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 ...