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State v. Paulson

Court of Appeals of Iowa

April 3, 2019

STATE OF IOWA, Plaintiff-Appellee,
v.
CLAY THOMAS PAULSON, Defendant-Appellant.

          Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Boone County, Paul G. Crawford, District Associate Judge.

         Clay Thomas Paulson appeals his convictions and sentence for suborning perjury and solicitation to suborn perjury.

          John L. Dirks of Dirks Law Firm, Ames, for appellant.

          Thomas J. Miller, Attorney General, and Kyle Hanson, Assistant Attorney General, for appellee.

          Considered by Vogel, C.J., and Vaitheswaran and Doyle, JJ.

          VAITHESWARAN, JUDGE.

         Following a vehicle stop, Boone police officers discovered drugs in a black, star-covered backpack situated on the floorboard near where Clay Thomas Paulson had been seated. A woman told an officer she saw Paulson with the backpack. The State charged him with several drug-related crimes, a jury found him guilty, and this court affirmed his judgment and sentence. See State v. Paulson, No. 17-2097, 2018 WL 6706221, at *2-3 (Iowa Ct. App. Dec. 19, 2018).

         Before his trial in the drug case, Paulson texted a friend, seeking to have the woman "take her statement back." In a later deposition, the woman stated she "did not tell" the officer the backpack "belonged to Clay Paulson."

         The State separately charged Paulson with suborning perjury and solicitation to suborn perjury. A jury found Paulson guilty as charged and imposed sentence.

         On appeal from the perjury convictions, Paulson argues (1) the evidence was insufficient evidence to support the jury's findings of guilt and (2) the district court erred in admitting hearsay evidence.

         I. Sufficiency of the Evidence

         The jury was instructed that the State would have to prove the following elements of suborning perjury:

1. On or about the 22nd day of December, 2016, the defendant procured a second person to make a statement of fact.
2. The statement of fact was to be made under oath.
3. The statement was false.
4. The defendant knew the statement was false when he procured the second ...

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