Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

State v. Connerley

Court of Appeals of Iowa

April 3, 2019

STATE OF IOWA, Plaintiff-Appellee,
v.
DANIEL LEROY CONNERLEY, Defendant-Appellant.

          Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Floyd County, Christopher C. Foy, Judge.

         A defendant appeals his convictions for theft and ongoing criminal conduct.

          Stuart G. Hoover of Blair & Fitzsimmons, P.C., Dubuque, for appellant.

          Thomas J. Miller, Attorney General, and Benjamin Parrott, Assistant Attorney General, for appellee.

          Considered by Tabor, P.J., and Mullins and Bower, JJ.

          TABOR, PRESIDING JUDGE.

         A torn five-dollar bill used to buy a cheeseburger at the Colwell Tap prompted the Floyd County Sherriff to investigate a string of cash thefts from gaming machines stationed in local businesses. The investigation's focus on Daniel Connerley led to his convictions for three counts of theft, as well as one count of ongoing criminal conduct. On appeal, he challenges the district court's supplemental instruction to the jury on one theft count and his related conviction for ongoing criminal conduct. Because the district court properly corrected a faulty verdict form before accepting the jury's verdicts, we affirm his convictions.

         I. Facts and Prior Proceedings

         Michelle Kirsch owns Colwell Tap. In July 2016, Connerley came into her bar around noon, ordered a cheeseburger, and played the Golden Shamrock, one of the four gaming machines[1] she kept in her establishment. Before leaving about an hour later, Connerley paid Kirsch for lunch, handing her two five-dollar bills. One of the bills looked familiar-the corner was missing just like a five-dollar bill Kirsch slid into one of the machines earlier that morning.[2] Suspicious, Kirsch unlocked the machines to check the money inside. She discovered they were empty when, according to her tally, they should have contained $221.

         Kirsch alerted the Floyd County sheriff and the following day officers executed a search warrant for Connerley's home and car. In late July, the State charged Connerley with fourth-degree theft in violation of Iowa Code sections 714.1(1) and 714.2(4) (2016).

         The following month, Rick Lensing, owner of 218 Fuel Express, discovered damage to one of the gaming machines in his convenience store. He notified Floyd County authorities and called Redline Vending, which maintained the machines. An inspection revealed $683 was missing. Redline Vending then checked its machines at the nearby Liquor Beer & Tobacco (LBT) Outlet Store "because it's common if machines get broken into in one place, it often happens in a string of locations." The LBT gaming machines also showed signs of tampering and were short $1688. Officers conducted a warranted search of Connerley's vehicle on August 14, finding $633 cash in his wallet and a stack of fifty one-dollar bills.

         The State charged Connerley for his alleged involvement in the Fuel Express and LBT thefts. The trial information alleged four counts: (1) ongoing criminal conduct in violation of Iowa Code section 706A.2(4); (2) second-degree theft in violation of section 714.2(2), for taking property valued at more than $1000 but not more than $10, 000 from the LBT machines; (3) third-degree theft in violation of section 714.2(3), for taking property valued at more than $500 but not more than $1000; and (4) (unrelated to the gaming-machine thefts) possession of methamphetamine. The district court granted the State's motion to consolidate the two prosecutions.

         A two-day jury trial began on September 12, 2017. The business owners and investigators described how the machines were broken into and cash was taken. The State also presented surveillance video of Connerley at the machines.

          At the close of the trial, the court instructed the jury on the correlation between the amount of cash taken and the degree of theft.

If you find the defendant guilty of theft on the Colwell Tap charge, the LBT Outlet charge, or the Fuel Express charge, then you must determine the degree of theft for that crime, which is based on the amount of cash taken in its commission. The State must prove the amount of cash taken. The following are the different degrees of theft:
1.The theft of no more than $200 in cash is theft in the fifth degree.
2.The theft of more than $200 but no more than $500 in cash is theft in the fourth degree.
3.The theft of more than $500 but no more than $1, 000 in cash is theft in the third degree.
4. The theft of more than $1, 000 but no more than $10, 000 in cash is [t]heft in ...

Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.