from the Iowa District Court for Franklin County, Gregg R.
defendant appeals his convictions and sentences for willful
injury causing bodily injury and kidnapping in the first
degree. JUDGMENT OF CONVICTIONS AFFIRMED; SENTENCES
AFFIRMED IN PART, VACATED IN PART, AND REMANDED.
C. Smith, State Appellate Defender, and Martha J. Lucey,
Assistant Appellate Defender, for appellant.
J. Miller, Attorney General, Martha E. Trout and Laura Roan,
Assistant Attorneys General, and Brent Symens, County
Attorney, for appellee.
defendant appeals his convictions and sentences for willful
injury causing bodily injury and kidnapping in the first
degree. He claims that there was insufficient evidence to
support his kidnapping conviction and that he was prejudiced
when the court instructed the jury on a lessor included
charge of kidnapping in the second degree. He also claims his
trial counsel was ineffective by failing to object to and by
introducing evidence of his other crimes, wrongs, or other
acts. Finally, he claims the district court erred in ordering
him to pay restitution without first considering his
reasonable ability to pay.
appeal, we find that substantial evidence supported his
conviction for first-degree kidnapping and that he was not
prejudiced when the court instructed the jury on a lessor
included charge of kidnapping in the second degree. We also
find we cannot reach his ineffective-assistance-of-counsel
claims regarding his counsel's failure to object to and
introduction of evidence of his other crimes, wrongs, or
other acts on direct appeal. We further find the restitution
prescribed in the sentencing order does not comply with our
restitution statutes. Therefore, we affirm Albright's
convictions for willful injury causing bodily injury and
kidnapping in the first degree. We vacate the restitution
part of the sentencing order and remand the case to the
district court to order restitution in a manner consistent
with this opinion.
the trial evidence in the light most favorable to the
jury's guilty verdict, the jury could have found the
following facts." State v. Romer, 832 N.W.2d
169, 172-73 (Iowa 2013). The defendant, Charles Albright, and
K.H. dated for over two years, during which time they lived
together in various locations around Iowa. In October of
2016, Albright and K.H. lived in a house in Meservey.
1:30 a.m. on October 7, 2016, Albright became paranoid after
using methamphetamine and decided not to go into work that
day. Albright accused K.H. of having men over to their home
while he was at work and said he was going to stay home to
keep an eye on K.H. K.H. told Albright she was not having men
over while he was at work. At that point, Albright became
very angry and hit K.H. Albright continued to hit her in the
face with both an open hand and a fist while accusing her of
lying and calling her worthless, good-for-nothing, and other
tried to get away from Albright. As she went toward the
locked door of their home, Albright grabbed K.H. by the
collar of her jacket, threw her against the wall, and told
her she was not leaving the house. Albright then threw K.H.
onto the floor and slammed her head into the ground twice.
Albright continued to hit K.H. as he threw her onto the
mattress in the living room. Albright's dog, who lived
with the couple, began biting K.H. on the leg and on the hip
while Albright continued to batter K.H. on the mattress.
hit K.H. in her pelvic region multiple times with the
backside of a cordless drill. K.H. tried to block
Albright's blows to her face and body with her hands and
arms. Albright held K.H. down and cut behind her ear with a
knife. He used a Taser to burn K.H.'s wrists. The assault
went on intermittently for hours.
could not escape because she was scared and Albright was
always watching her. When she tried to leave the home by
moving toward the door, Albright blocked the door and told
K.H. to sit back down. K.H. had to remain within
Albright's eyesight the entire morning, and Albright
never fell asleep.
afternoon, Albright forced K.H. to go with him to the
veterinarian in Sheffield. K.H. did not want to enter
Albright's truck with him because she was afraid he would
kill her. She told Albright she did not want to go. Albright
started getting out of the truck to force her physically
inside, so K.H. entered Albright's vehicle.
way to the veterinarian's office, Albright continued to
hit K.H. Albright made a phone call to a friend, and K.H.
tried to call out "help" to the friend on the
phone. Albright told K.H. he was going to bury her in a
cornfield up to her neck and let a combine cut off her head.
Albright and K.H. arrived at the veterinarian's office,
K.H. stayed in the truck while Albright took the dog inside.
K.H. did not try to escape from the truck while Albright was
inside the veterinarian's office because there was a
large window looking out from the office to the parking lot,
and she was afraid Albright would see her escape from the
the veterinarian appointment, Albright drove to a Casey's
gas station. While Albright was inside the gas station, K.H.
escaped by leaving Albright's truck and running across
the road to Dollar General. Once inside, K.H. asked the
Dollar General clerk for a telephone and the keys to the
restroom. K.H. called 911 for help from inside the restroom
and waited there until an officer arrived.
Sheffield Chief of Police arrived at Dollar General at
approximately 3:00 p.m. as the first officer on the scene.
K.H. sounded very scared when he arrived, and she wanted to
verify it was the officer outside the restroom door, not
Albright. When K.H. opened the door for the officer and he
first saw her, K.H. was propped up against the bathroom wall
and her eyes were almost completely swollen shut. The chief
called an ambulance and asked an EMT who was shopping at
Dollar General to evaluate K.H. before the ambulance arrived.
result of Albright's beating, K.H. suffered two nose
fractures; bruising and swelling of her arms, legs, and face;
head and wrist pain; dizziness; and vision problems. Albright
also broke K.H.'s dentures when he repeatedly hit her in
October 10, the court issued a warrant for Albright's
arrest. On October 18, officers executed a search warrant for
Albright's home in Meservey. Officers found a cordless
drill sitting upside down on a chair near the mattress in the
located and arrested Albright on October 19 at a home in
Mason City. The State charged Albright with willful injury
resulting in serious injury, a class "C" felony, in
violation of Iowa Code section 708.4(1) (2016), and
kidnapping in the first degree, a class "A" felony,
in violation of Iowa Code sections 710.1 and 710.2.
trial, the State entered evidence that Albright had been
abusive and controlling of K.H. and that she had tried to
leave him in the past. Defense counsel did not object to the
testimony and asked questions of K.H. that resulted in
further prior bad acts evidence. The State and defense
counsel also introduced evidence of Albright's prior
convictions and jail time. Defense counsel did not request a
limiting instruction on the prior bad acts or prior
convictions evidence, and the district court did not give a
limiting instruction to the jury.
jury found Albright guilty of willful injury causing bodily
injury and kidnapping in the first degree. The district court
entered judgment, ordering Albright to serve a term not to
exceed five years for the willful injury conviction and life
in prison for the kidnapping conviction. The district court
ordered Albright to pay a $750 fine, 35% surcharge, and
"court costs in the amount assessed by the Clerk"
for the willful injury conviction. The district court also
ordered Albright to pay court costs for the kidnapping
conviction. Regarding his reasonable ability to pay, the
district court's order said,
Pursuant to Iowa Code section 910.2, Defendant is found to
have the reasonable ability to pay the obligations set forth
herein, including but not limited to any crime victim
assistance reimbursement, restitution to public agencies, and
court costs including correctional fees, court-appointed
attorney fees, contribution to a local anticrime
organization, or restitution to the medical assistance
Albright appealed his convictions and sentences.
raises four issues on appeal. First, whether the State
presented sufficient evidence to support his conviction of
first-degree kidnapping. Second, whether the district court
erred in submitting kidnapping in the second degree as a
lesser included offense of kidnapping in the first degree.
Third, whether counsel was ineffective by failing to object
to and by introducing evidence of Albright's other
crimes, wrongs, or other acts. Fourth, whether the district
court was wrong in ordering Albright to pay restitution
without first considering his reasonable ability to pay.
Whether the State Presented Sufficient Evidence to Support
Albright's Conviction of First-Degree
argues the State did not present sufficient evidence to prove
two of the elements of first-degree kidnapping: (1)
confinement and/or removal and (2) torture.
Standard of Review. We review challenges to the
sufficiency of evidence for correction of errors at law.
State v. Copenhaver, 844 N.W.2d 442, 449 (Iowa
2014). We review all of the evidence presented at trial and
consider it in the light most favorable to the State.
Id. When the evidence could convince a rational
trier of fact that the defendant is guilty beyond a
reasonable doubt, the verdict is supported by substantial
evidence. State v. Bower, 725 N.W.2d 435, 444 (Iowa
Whether Albright Preserved Error on the Issue. The
State contends Albright did not preserve error on this issue.
Albright argues he preserved error by moving for a judgment
does not preserve error on a sufficiency-of-evidence issue
when counsel makes a general motion for judgment of acquittal
but fails to identify specific elements of the charge not
supported by the evidence. See State v. Crone, 545
N.W.2d 267, 270 (Iowa 1996) (en banc). The exception to this
error preservation rule is when "grounds for a motion
were obvious and understood by the trial court and
counsel." State v. Williams, 695 N.W.2d 23, 27
(Iowa 2005). In Williams, we held the element to
which counsel referred in his motion for acquittal was
"obvious and understood" by the trial court and
opposing counsel when the crime required the prosecution to
prove only two elements and the parties stipulated the second
element was present. Id. at 28.
Here, at the close of the State's evidence, defense
I do have one motion, Judge. Comes now, Mr. Albright, through
counsel, and moves to dismiss this matter and hold it in
arrest of judgment for the reason that all of the evidence
that's been presented, even when it's viewed in the
best light for the State, could not allow these people to
form or find- engender a jury question.
Again, at the close of all evidence, defense counsel renewed
his motion, stating,
Comes now, the defendant, again through counsel, and moves
for a directed verdict of acquittal on the grounds that all
of the evidence, even in the best light for the State, would
not engender a jury question.
motions, defense counsel did not identify the specific
elements of the charge of kidnapping in the first degree for
which sufficient evidence was lacking. Defense counsel's
motions do not fall under the "obvious and
understood" exception either.
State was required to prove four elements in this case to
prove kidnapping in the first degree. It was also required to
prove three elements to prove willful injury causing bodily
injury. When defense counsel failed to mention any of the
elements in his motions for acquittal, neither the trial
court nor counsel could be certain as to which element or
elements defense counsel was arguing sufficient evidence did
not support. Cf. Williams, 695 N.W.2d at 28. The
present case is unlike Williams, where the parties
stipulated to one of the two elements needed to prove
domestic abuse assault. See id. Thus, in
Williams it was clear which element was the fighting
issue of the case. See id. Here, Albright did not
stipulate to any of the ...