from the Iowa District Court for Des Moines County, Mary Ann
Sanders-Galvez appeals his conviction for murder in the first
C. Smith, State Appellate Defender, (until withdrawal) and
Shellie L. Knipfer, Assistant Appellate Defender, for
J. Miller, Attorney General, and Tyler J. Buller, Assistant
Attorney General, for appellee.
by Vaitheswaran, P.J., and Doyle and Tabor, JJ.
VAITHESWARAN, PRESIDING JUDGE.
Burlington teenager was shot to death in an alley. The State
charged twenty-one-year-old Jorge Sanders-Galvez and another
individual with first-degree murder. See Iowa Code
§§ 703.1, 703.2, 707.1, 707.2 (2016). A jury found
Sanders-Galvez guilty as charged.
appeal, Sanders-Galvez contends (1) the evidence was
insufficient to support the jury's finding of guilt; (2)
his trial attorney was ineffective in failing to object to a
statement on hearsay grounds; (3) the district court abused
its discretion in admitting a phone video; and (4)
juvenile-sentencing precedent "should be expanded"
to young adults.
Sufficiency of the Evidence
jury was instructed Sanders-Galvez could be found guilty of
first-degree murder of a teenager, K.J., either as a
principal or aider and abettor and either (1)"willfully,
deliberately, premeditatedly, and with specific intent to
kill" or while (2)"participating in the offense of
kidnapping." The jury returned a general verdict.
light of the general verdict, we cannot determine which of
the murder theories the jury accepted. See State v.
Smith, 739 N.W.2d 289, 295 (Iowa 2007) (stating because
the jury was instructed to return a general verdict, court
had "no way of knowing" which of multiple theories
the jury adopted). To uphold the finding of guilt, then, we
must find substantial evidentiary support for both theories.
See State v. James, No. 13-1067, 2014 WL 4230203, at
*7 (Iowa Ct. App. Aug. 27, 2014) ("Submission of
multiple alternatives to the jury is permissible only if
substantial evidence is presented to support each alternative
method of committing a single crime." (citing State
v. Bratthauer, 354 N.W.2d 774, 776 (Iowa 1984)));
cf. State v. Myers, 924 N.W.2d 823, 827 (Iowa 2019)
("[S]ubstantial evidence must support each alternative
under the statute.").
does not challenge the sufficiency of the evidence supporting
guilt under the premeditated-murder alternative. He argues
the evidence was insufficient to support a finding of guilt
under the felony-murder-by-kidnapping alternative.
was defined for the jury as:
[A] person confining another person or removing a person from
one place to another, knowing that the person who confines or
removes the other person has neither the authority nor
consent of the other to do so; provided that the person does
so with the intent to secretly confine the other person. A
person is confined when his freedom to move about is
substantially restricted by force, threat, or deception. The
person may be confined either in the place where the
restriction began or in place to which he has been removed.
No minimum time of confinement or distance of removal is
required. It must be more than slight. In this case the
confinement or removal must have significance apart from the
murder of [K.J.] In determining whether confinement or
removal exists, you may consider whether (1) the risk of harm
to [K.J.] was substantially increased, (2) the risk of
detection was significantly reduced, or (3) escape was made
confine" was defined for the jury as "more than
restricting the movement of [K.J.]" The phrase requires
"an intent to conceal or hide [K.J.] to prevent his
discovery." Sanders-Galvez asserts "there was no
showing of removal or confinement beyond that associated with
could have found the following facts. K.J. went to Hy-Vee the
evening of his death. Sanders-Galvez and his co-defendant
entered Hy-Vee while K.J. was inside. As K.J. began to leave,
Sanders-Galvez "look[ed] in [his] direction." A
minute later, Sanders-Galvez checked out at the cash
register. Three minutes later, he and the co-defendant left
the store and got into a red Impala. Meanwhile, K.J. began
walking towards his friend A.W.'s house a
block-and-a-half away. As K.J. "walk[ed] across the
parking lot," "the red Impala [came] in behind
him." When K.J. arrived at A.W.'s house, he told her
he "was scared" because "Lumni"-a
nickname for Sanders-Galvez-"was following
him." A.W. asked K.J. "if he wanted a ride
home or if he wanted to stay a little longer or if he wanted
to go out the back door." K.J. said no to all the
options. A.W. looked out her bedroom window and "[s]ort