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Zamora v. State

Court of Appeals of Iowa

January 23, 2019

JOEL ZAMORA, Applicant-Appellant,
v.
STATE OF IOWA, Respondent-Appellee.

          Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Johnson County, Patrick R. Grady, Judge.

         Joel Zamora appeals the district court's denial of his application for postconviction relief.

          Lanny M. Van Daele of Van Daele Law, LLC, North Liberty, for appellant.

          Thomas J. Miller, Attorney General, and Tyler J. Buller, Assistant Attorney General, for appellee State.

          Considered by Doyle, P.J., Mahan, S.J., * and Danilson, S.J. [*]

          MAHAN, SENIOR JUDGE.

         Joel Zamora appeals the district court's denial of his application for postconviction relief following his 2014 convictions for burglary in the first degree and robbery in the first degree, raising claims of ineffective assistance of counsel. Upon our review, we affirm the court's order denying Zamora's application for postconviction relief.

         I. Background Facts and Proceedings

         In its opinion affirming Zamora's convictions on direct appeal, this court set forth the following facts:

On August 5, 2013, Ofelia Zepeda and her three children were in their trailer home in Iowa City when two men walked in. Ofelia identified one of the men as Joel Zamora. She testified Zamora put a gun to her head and asked for money. When she told him she did not have any money, Zamora pointed the gun at her children. The men took about $2000 from Ofelia's purse. The other man found the oldest child's wallet and took his money as well. The men locked the children in the bathroom. They taped Ofelia's hands and mouth and had her lay down on the floor. They took Ofelia's cell phone and told her they would kill her and the children if she called the police.
. . . .
Ofelia testified the gun "was a small revolver, the one that you-the kind that you load with bullets." She stated Zamora first put the gun to her forehead, then her temple, then pointed it at her children. In the courtroom she identified Zamora as the person who pointed a gun at her head. The oldest child, who was twelve at the time of the incident, testified the gun "looked like the ones like that spin around. The one that look like you can put bullets in there." He testified Zamora pointed the gun at his mother and then at him and his sisters. In the courtroom the oldest child also identified Zamora as the person with a gun.

State v. Zamora, No. 14-0281, 2015 WL 576017, at *1-2 (Iowa Ct. App. Feb. 11, 2015).

         The State charged Zamora with burglary in the first degree, in violation of Iowa Code section 713.3(1)(b) (2013), and robbery in the first degree, in violation of section 711.2, alleging Zamora had a dangerous weapon for both offenses. Id. at *1. Following trial, the jury found Zamora guilty on both counts. Id. The district court sentenced him to ...


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