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In re K.E.

Court of Appeals of Iowa

May 1, 2019

IN THE INTEREST OF K.E., Minor Child, K.E., Minor Child, Appellant.

          Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Mahaska County, Rose Anne Mefford, District Associate Judge.

         A minor appeals after being adjudicated a delinquent for theft in the second degree, possession of stolen property.

          Jeffrey A. Smith, Oskaloosa, for appellant.

          Thomas J. Miller, Attorney General, and Mary A. Triick, Assistant Attorney General, for appellee State.

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

          POTTERFIELD, PRESIDING JUDGE.

         K.E., a minor, appeals after being adjudicated a delinquent for theft in the second degree, possession of stolen property, in violation of Iowa Code sections 714.1(1), 714.1(4), and 714.2(2) (2017). He alleges the State failed to prove the theft occurred within the statute of limitations, trial counsel was ineffective in failing to move for a judgment of acquittal, and there is insufficient evidence K.E. knew the four-wheeler in his possession was stolen. We affirm.

         On May 28, 2017, Brad Hornick parked his black 2006 Polaris four-wheeler (which was in working order) on Kip Greenhalgh's property on Highway 92 near Oskaloosa chained to a tree with a "For Sale" sign on it.[1] When he checked on the four-wheeler at about 1:00 p.m. on May 29, the chain had been cut and the vehicle was gone.

         Hornick's Polaris four-wheeler, which was now painted red and had a new ignition switch, was located in K.E.'s father's garage on June 23.[2] K.E. and his parents returned the four-wheeler to the sheriff's office. Photographs were taken of the vehicle. K.E. told law enforcement Tyler E. had given the four-wheeler to him when he was swimming at Tyler's grandparents' acreage.[3] K.E. told officers Tyler said it was junk and if K.E. wanted it he had to pick it up. K.E.'s father stated he went to pick up K.E. and the four-wheeler from Tyler's grandparents' acreage. K.E.'s father said it was in parts and he did a bit of work on the four-wheeler when they got it back to their garage.

         Tyler acknowledged that he and K.E. spent time together "this past summer, the summer of 2017" and went swimming just once at the Keaslings' acreage. While he could not remember the exact date, he stated it was before school was out for the summer and about a week before he went to Texas with his grandfather-they left on May 28. After Tyler was informed by law enforcement that K.E. said Tyler told him he could have the Polaris, Tyler stated he had never seen the vehicle, his grandfather did not have such a vehicle on the property, and he did not give the four-wheeler to K.E.

         K.E. was charged with committing the delinquent act of possessing stolen property having a value of more than $1000 but less than $10, 000.

         Tyler's father and mother both testified they were aware that Tyler and some friends went swimming at the Keasling acreage in May 2017. Both stated that there was no Polaris at the acreage similar to the one found at K.E.'s garage. If there had been such a four-wheeler at the Keasling acreage, they would not have given it away.

         Tyler's mother testified her parents go to Texas every month for a flea market called "First Monday Trade Days." Tyler goes with them to help set up. Tyler and his grandparents left early in the morning on May 29, set up for the market, and returned to Iowa the following Sunday, June 11.

         K.E.'s mother testified K.E. called her about a week to ten days before K.E.'s birthday, which was on June 21, to tell her he got a four-wheeler. She asked K.E. if his father had bought it as ...


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