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Reed v. State

Court of Appeals of Iowa

July 3, 2019

UNDRAY JERMAINE REED, Applicant-Appellant,
v.
STATE OF IOWA, Respondent-Appellee.

          Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Black Hawk County, Bradley J. Harris, Judge.

         The applicant appeals the district court decision denying his application for postconviction relief.

          Scott M. Wadding of Kemp & Sease, Des Moines, for appellant.

          Thomas J. Miller, Attorney General, and Martha E. Trout, Assistant Attorney General, for appellee State.

          Considered by Doyle, P.J., May, J., and Gamble, S.J. [*]

          Gamble, Senior Judge.

         Undray Reed appeals the district court decision denying his application for postconviction relief. The postconviction-relief court found Reed established a claim of ineffective assistance of appellate counsel but improperly concluded it did not have authority to grant Reed relief. We reverse the decision of the district court and remand for further proceedings.

         I. Background Facts & Proceedings

         Reed was charged with eluding, possession of methamphetamine, and driving while license revoked. He stipulated his driver's license had been revoked during the relevant time period.

         At Reed's criminal trial, Officer Albert Bovy of the Waterloo Police Department testified he observed Reed's vehicle did not have license plates, so he turned on his lights and siren and attempted to stop the vehicle. He stated Reed did not stop, but went forty-five to fifty miles per hour in a twenty-five mile per hour zone. Officer Bovy followed Reed's vehicle, which eventually skidded through an intersection and struck a house. He testified that "when [Reed] crashed into the house, I could see his driver's window was open. His arm comes flinging up as if to throw something." Officer Bovy stated he found "a baggie of crystal ice," a type of methamphetamine, and a pipe used to smoke methamphetamine on the ground at the scene of the crash. The State presented a videotape recording of the incident from Officer Bovy's squad car.

         During closing arguments, defense counsel stated the video showed Officer Bovy placed something on the ground, which she stated could be the bag of methamphetamine. Defense counsel asked the jury to find Reed not guilty of possession of methamphetamine. On the eluding charge, defense counsel stated, "You have to decide whether or not you trust Officer Bovy's testimony about the speed."

         In rebuttal, the prosecutor discussed Officer Bovy's testimony concerning the defendant's speed and stated, "He's telling you the truth." Concerning the bag of methamphetamine, the prosecutor stated, "Why-why would a person who's gonna risk perjury, your career, do something like that in such a weak way? That's called candor. He's being honest." Defense counsel objected to this statement, and the court overruled the objection.

         The jury found Reed guilty of eluding, possession of methamphetamine, and driving while revoked. Reed stipulated to being a habitual offender. The district court denied Reed's motion for a new trial. The court sentenced Reed to a term of imprisonment not to exceed fifteen years for eluding and fifteen years for possession of methamphetamine, to be served concurrently, and a fine for driving while revoked.

         On direct appeal, Reed challenged only his conviction for possession of methamphetamine. State v. Reed, No. 16-1673, 2017 WL 3525175, at 1* (Iowa Ct. App. Aug. 16, 2017). We found there had been prosecutorial misconduct because the prosecutor vouched for Officer Bovy's credibility during the closing arguments. Id. at *4. We stated, "When the prosecutor personally vouched for the officer's honesty rather than sticking to the evidence presented, Reed was denied a fair trial." ...


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