from the Iowa District Court for Black Hawk County, David P.
Sallis appeals from his convictions and sentences for
possession of a firearm by a felon, being a habitual
offender, and carrying weapons.
C. Smith, State Appellate Defender, and Brenda J. Gohr,
Assistant Appellate Defender, for appellant.
J. Miller, Attorney General, and Tyler J. Buller, Assistant
Attorney General, for appellee.
Considered by Vogel, C.J., Tabor, J., and Danilson, S.J.
Sallis appeals his convictions and sentence following jury
verdicts finding him guilty of possession of a firearm by a
felon while being a habitual offender and carrying weapons.
He argues the State presented insufficient evidence to prove
he possessed a firearm. He also contends the district court
applied the wrong standard in ruling on his motion for new
trial. Lastly, Sallis challenges the district court's
determination of his reasonable ability to pay restitution.
substantial evidence supported the verdicts. But the district
court did not apply the weight-of-the-evidence standard in
ruling on the new-trial motion. Accordingly, we affirm the
verdicts but reverse the ruling on the new-trial motion and
remand with directions. We also remand on the restitution
issue because the district court abused its discretion in
deciding Sallis had the ability to pay without knowing the
total amount of restitution owed.
Facts and Prior Proceedings.
Hansel and her mother, Cathy Pingel,  met Sallis when he loaded
items into their car at a home-improvement store. Sallis also
helped them unload the car at Hansel's home later that
day. Sallis gave his phone number to Hansel in case she
needed assistance in the future.
the same time, Cathy was serving as the executor of her
friend's estate. The beneficiary of the estate was the
friend's minor son. After an auction, the estate would
place the proceeds in a trust for the beneficiary. Due to
tension between Cathy and the beneficiary, Cathy decided to
hire security for the auction. Cathy hired Sallis and his
time Cathy and her husband, Tom, hired Sallis they did not
know he was a convicted felon. Sallis drafted a contract
between himself as the chief executive officer of Secure-All
and Cathy on behalf of the estate. The contract terms
included paying "armed" security guards $20 per
hour and "unarmed" security guards $15 per hour.
The contract did not define "armed" but specified
the presence of "at least one armed officer at all times
during the course of this contract."
wife delivered security supplies, including a .40 caliber
semiautomatic pistol and ammunition, from their house to the
auction site. Over the span of three days, October 12 through
14, Sallis and a team of nine other individuals provided
around-the-clock security. Cathy and other witnesses saw
Sallis in possession of a firearm. Cathy recalled Sallis
concealed it in his waistband or holster. Sallis and his team
were present for the October 14 auction. The auctioneer
directed Sallis and his men to conceal their firearms. During
a discussion with Sallis at the auction, Tom saw Sallis
remove a firearm from under his shirt. Tom recognized the
pistol as requiring .40 caliber ammunition because Tom owned
a firearm of the same caliber.
the auction, Sallis provided a timesheet to Cathy including
an hourly-rate breakdown of charges for armed and unarmed
guards. The sheet listed Desmond Rogers, Ramon Cooper, and
Sallis at $20 an hour, or, in other words, as armed guards.
Sallis was listed at the armed rate for all three days.
days before the auction, Cathy rented a car for Sallis to
drive back and forth from the auction site. On the Sunday
following the auction, Cathy and Tom went to Sallis's
house to retrieve the rental car. They found Sallis and his
wife loading the rental car with personal items. Sallis told
the Pingels to leave, and they did. During this
confrontation, Cathy was on the phone with her daughter,
Hansel. Hansel called the ...