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State v. Moore

Court of Appeals of Iowa

April 3, 2019

STATE OF IOWA, Plaintiff-Appellee,
v.
DERRICK DEONTE MOORE, Defendant-Appellant.

          Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Dubuque County, Monica Zrinyi Wittig, Judge.

         A defendant appeals convictions for burglary, harassment, domestic abuse assault, and marijuana possession.

          Matthew W. Boleyn of Reynolds & Kenline, L.L.P., Dubuque, for appellant.

          Thomas J. Miller, Attorney General, and Louis S. Sloven, Assistant Attorney General, for appellee.

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

          TABOR, PRESIDING JUDGE.

         Derrick Moore appeals his convictions for burglary in the first degree, harassment in the third degree, domestic abuse assault causing bodily injury, and possession of marijuana. He contends the State failed to offer sufficient evidence to support his convictions and he was prejudiced by trial counsel's subpar performance. Finding the State offered substantial evidence of burglary and drug possession, we affirm those convictions. Finding Moore failed to preserve error on his challenges to the remaining counts, we decline to disturb the jury verdicts. Because further development of the record is necessary to resolve Moore's allegations of ineffective assistance of counsel, we preserve those claims for possible postconviction-relief (PCR) proceedings.

         I. Facts and Prior Proceedings

         In the fall of 2017, Moore was dating A.S., often staying overnight at her apartment. But on September 1, they argued for most of the day and night-both over the telephone and through text messages. The situation escalated so much that A.S. called 911 just after 6 a.m. on September 2, telling dispatch she feared for her safety if Moore returned to the apartment. She also barricaded her front door.

         True to A.S.'s fears, Moore forced his way into the apartment. He knocked the telephone from A.S.'s hand as she tried to call 911 again. A.S. testified Moore started hitting her. In her words: "He just kept swinging over and over." She recalled he struck her in the head and she fell to the ground, briefly losing consciousness. Moore also wielded a metal mop handle, landing blows to A.S.'s legs and arms.

         Meanwhile, dispatch tried calling back to check on A.S. Soon police officers arrived at her apartment and knocked on the door. No one answered, but they could hear a woman crying inside. The officers pushed through the door and found A.S. in the kitchen. They then found Moore hiding in a closet. Upon searching Moore's pockets, the officers discovered two small plastic "gem bags"[1] containing a green leafy substance that later tested positive as marijuana.

         A.S. received treatment at Finley Hospital. An emergency room doctor found she had a ruptured ear drum and bruising starting to develop on both of her legs and left arm.

         As a result of the incident, the State charged Moore with six counts:

Count I.

Burglary in the first degree;

Count II.

Harassment in the first degree;

Count III.

Domestic Abuse Assault Causing Bodily Injury;

Count IV.

Possession of a Controlled Substance;

Count V.

Willful Injury Causing Serious Injury; and

Count VI.

Domestic Abuse Assault While Using or Displaying a Dangerous Weapon.

         A jury convicted Moore of the following offenses:

Count I.

Burglary in the first degree;

Count II.

Harassment in the third degree;

Count III.

Domestic Abuse Assault Causing Bodily Injury;

Count V.

Assault Causing Bodily Injury; and

Count VI.

Domestic Abuse Assault.

         The parties tried Count IV, marijuana possession, to the bench, also ...


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