from the Iowa District Court for Black Hawk County, Jeffrey
L. Harris, District Associate Judge.
Lee Jackson appeals his convictions for assault and assault
causing bodily injury. AFFIRMED.
S. Munnelly of Munnelly Law Office, Omaha, Nebraska, for
J. Miller, Attorney General, and Louis S. Sloven, Assistant
Attorney General, for appellee.
by Vogel, C.J., Vaitheswaran, J., and Danilson, S.J, [*] but decided by
Vogel, C.J., Doyle, J., and Danilson, S.J. Vaitheswaran, J.,
takes no part.
Jackson appeals his convictions and sentence after a jury
found him guilty of assault and assault causing bodily injury
in violation of Iowa Code sections 708.1, 708.2(6), and
708.2(2) (2017). Jackson argues (1) his trial attorney failed
to provide effective assistance of counsel when she neglected
to object to both the district court and the county
prosecutor referring to the complaining witness as "the
victim," (2) the racial composition of Jackson's
jury pool violated his constitutional right to an impartial
jury, and (3) the district court erred by overruling
Jackson's motion for a directed verdict. We affirm.
Background Facts and Proceedings
the trial evidence in the light most favorable to the
jury's guilty [verdict]," State v. Romer,
832 N.W.2d 169, 172-73 (Iowa 2013), the jury could have found
the following facts. On the morning of March 31, 2017,
Zaikiah Soesbe was waitressing at a downtown Waterloo
restaurant when Jackson, her boyfriend of approximately six
months, entered the establishment. Jackson was extremely
angry, as he recently learned Soesbe cheated on him, and an
argument between the two ensued. Soesbe's manager
interjected and demanded Jackson leave. The couple left the
establishment, but continued their heated exchange outside. A
security camera at the restaurant captured some of their
interactions, including Jackson physically confronting Soesbe
inside and outside the building. Eventually, the couple left
together and drove to the apartment Soesbe shared with her
two children and her mother. The argument continued upon
arriving at the residence, and Soesbe suffered additional
physical injuries as a result.
called 911, but Jackson had fled by the time police arrived.
While the responding officer interviewed Soesbe, Jackson
returned to the residence. When asked, Soesbe lied and told
the officer that Jackson was "Kyle," her
"mom's friend." Soesbe initially expressed a
desire to leave for the evening with her children and stay at
a women's shelter, but she ultimately opted against it.
Skeptical, the responding officer departed.
evening, police were responding to a disorderly conduct call
at an adjacent apartment unit when Soesbe flagged them down.
Soesbe admitted she had lied to police earlier and gave a
detailed account of her encounter with Jackson. Photographs
were taken of the injuries Soesbe sustained and the damage
Jackson had caused in the apartment.
30, 2017, Jackson was charged with domestic abuse assault by
knowingly impeding the flow of air or circulation of blood
and domestic abuse assault causing bodily injury.
See Iowa Code §§ 708.1, 708.2A(2)(b), (d).
During the pretrial proceedings, Jackson's attorney
suggested her client's constitutional rights may have
been violated because of the underrepresentation of
African-Americans in the jury pool. The jury manager was
unavailable at that time to lay foundation for the
presentation of necessary records, but those records were
available to Jackson. The district court denied counsel's
request for a new jury venire, but it encouraged the defense
to revisit the issue before the conclusion of the jury
selection should she see fit to do so.
further objection was made, and the case proceeded to trial.
After the close of the evidence, Jackson's attorney moved
for a judgment of acquittal, which the district court denied.
The jury found Jackson guilty of assault and assault causing
bodily injury. Jackson was subsequently sentenced to two
terms of incarceration-thirty days and 365 days-to run
concurrently. He now appeals.
Standard of Review
claims are reviewed de novo. State v. Thorndike, 860
N.W.2d 316, 319 (Iowa 2015). A district court's denial of
a request for a new jury panel is reviewed for abuse of
discretion. State v. Stidolph, 263 N.W.2d 737, 738
(Iowa 1978). However, Jackson's constitutional claims
regarding his right to an impartial jury are reviewed de
novo. See State v. Chidester, 570 N.W.2d 78, 80
(Iowa 1997). Sufficiency-of-the-evidence claims are reviewed
for correction of errors at law. State v. McCullah,
787 N.W.2d 90, 93 (Iowa 2010).