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Hicks v. State

Court of Appeals of Iowa

September 11, 2019

DANIEL LOUIS HICKS, Applicant-Appellant,
v.
STATE OF IOWA, Respondent-Appellee.

          Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Dallas County, Brad McCall, Judge.

         Daniel Hicks appeals the denial of his application for postconviction relief.

          Alfredo Parrish, Andrew Dunn, and Adam C. Witosky of Parrish Kruidenier Dunn Boles Gribble Gentry Brown & Bergmann, Des Moines, for appellant.

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

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

          BOWER, JUDGE.

         Daniel Hicks appeals the denial of his application for postconviction relief (PCR), asserting trial and appellate counsel were ineffective in failing to consult or retain a child-sexual-abuse expert, permitting witnesses to vouch for the child's credibility, and failing to challenge prejudicial testimony and out-of-court statements. Because Hicks failed to prove that but for trial and appellate counsel's alleged deficiencies in performance there is a reasonable probability the result of the proceeding would have been different, we affirm the denial of his application for postconviction relief.

         I. Background Facts.

         Hicks was convicted of sexual abuse in the second degree, indecent contact with a child, and incest. The complainant was eleven-year-old C.H.

         On direct appeal, this court rejected Hicks's challenge to the sufficiency of the evidence. State v. Hicks, No. 13-1912, 2015 WL 1046130, at *2 (Iowa Ct. App. Mar. 11, 2015). This court disagreed with Hicks that only the complainant's testimony supported the conviction, observing:

C.H.'s story was corroborated by DNA evidence and Hicks's own statement that "he would not do that to his own daughter" before he was even informed why the police were on his doorstep. When viewed in the light most favorable to the State, there is substantial evidence supporting the verdicts.

Id.

         Hicks also argued he should have been granted a new trial because the verdicts were against the weight of the evidence, attacking the credibility of C.H.'s allegations and testimony.[1] Id. at *2-3. We concluded the trial court did not abuse its discretion in denying the motion for new trial. Id. at *3.

         Next, this court addressed Hicks's challenge to the admission of C.H.'s 911 call and portions of an officer's body-microphone recording as hearsay and violating Hicks's right of confrontation. Id. Hicks's confrontation challenge had not been properly preserved; in any event, "the claim fail[ed] on the merits" as "C.H. testified at trial and was subject to cross-examination." Id. at *4 (citing State v. Tompkins, 859 N.W.2d 631, 640 (Iowa 2015)). The court also concluded C.H.'s statements made during the 911 ...


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