from the Iowa District Court for Polk County, Robert J.
Ann Breeding appeals following her convictions for possession
of methamphetamine with intent to deliver and failure to
possess a drug tax stamp as a second or subsequent offender.
A. Hurd of Glazebrook, Greenberg & Hurd, LLP, Des Moines,
J. Miller, Attorney General, and Katie M. Krickbaum,
Assistant Attorney General, for appellee.
Considered by Vogel, C.J., and Vaitheswaran and Mullins, JJ.
found Julie Ann Breeding guilty of possession of
methamphetamine with intent to deliver and failure to possess
a drug tax stamp as a second or subsequent offender.
See Iowa Code §§ 124.401 (b)(7), 124.411,
453B.3, 453B.12 (2016). The district court subsequently
appeal, Breeding argues (1) the evidence was insufficient to
support the findings of guilt, (2) her trial attorney was
ineffective in failing to object to portions of the
State's closing argument on the basis of prosecutorial
misconduct, and (3) the district court erred and abused its
discretion in imposing sentence on the possession count.
Sufficiency of the Evidence
contends "there was insufficient evidence from which a
rational trier of fact could conclude [she] was guilty of
aiding and abetting" the offenses. The State responds
that Breeding failed to preserve error because, when she
moved for judgment of acquittal, she did not specifically
mention aiding and abetting. But, as the State acknowledges,
the theory was discussed by the prosecutor in her response to
the motion. Specifically, the prosecutor stated "the
element of intent, we have proven, at least by an aiding and
abetting theory." There also was an extensive discussion
of the aiding and abetting theory in connection with the
drug-tax-stamp charge. It is evident from the discussion that
all concerned knew the theory was in play. We conclude error
was preserved. See State v. Williams, 695 N.W.2d 23,
27 (Iowa 2005) ("[W]e recognize an exception to the
general error-preservation rule when the record indicates
that the grounds for a motion were obvious and understood by
the trial court and counsel."); State v. Pena,
No. 12-0082, 2013 WL 5745608, at *2 (Iowa Ct. App. Oct. 23,
2013) ("When it is obvious all are aware of the nature
of the claimed defect in the State's case raised by the
motion error is preserved.").
proceed to the merits. We will uphold a finding of guilt if
it is supported by substantial evidence. See State v.
Sanford, 814 N.W.2d 611, 615 (Iowa 2012).
jury was instructed the State would have to prove the
following elements of possession of a controlled substance
with intent to deliver either as a principal or aider and
1. On or about September 26, 2016, the defendant or someone
she aided and abetted knowingly possessed methamphetamine.
2. The defendant or someone she aided and abetted knew that
the substance possessed ...